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article imageAfrica told to take cue from Finnish trial, stem genocide Special

By Samuel Okocha     Jun 15, 2010 in World
African countries should follow the lead of Finland in trying and prosecuting perpetrators of crimes against humanity in their various countries, says Amnesty International legal adviser Christopher Hall
A Finnish court recently sentenced a former Rwandan pastor, Francois Bazaramba, to life imprisonment for committing genocide against the Tutsi minority in his native country in 1994.
According to media reports, the 59-year-old from the Hutu tribe has lived in Finland since 2003.
''It's one more country exercising its obligations under international law....to prosecute persons for crimes under international law and this is the first case in Finland,'' said Christopher Hall.
Mr. Hall said: ''...so far none of the states in Africa or other places outside Europe where persons responsible for genocide and crimes against humanity or war crimes in Rwanda, have taken similar action.''
The district court in the Finnish southern city of Porvoo, said Bazaramba had spread anti-Tutsi propaganda and incited Hutus "to killings through fomenting anger and contempt towards Tutsis".
Bazaramba denied all charges, in the ruling that said he forced Tutsis to leave their homes and had ordered Hutus to burn down their homes.
"My client is not convicted of actually killing anyone; he is convicted of encouraging others to kill." Ville Hoikkala, Bazaramba's lawyer as quoted by aljazeera.
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