Denmark expels Rwandan on genocide charges

Denmark expels Rwandan on genocide charges

A Rwandan teacher accused of participating in the 1994 genocide has been returned home to face charges after his extradition from Denmark.

Danish citizen Wenceslas Twagirayezu, 50, is considered a key perpetrator of the 100-day genocide that killed over 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Twagirayezu is alleged to have led a Hutu militia in the northwest that targeted ethnic Tutsis. 

He has lived in Denmark since 2001 and had been fighting against his extradition through the courts.

A Danish court in September ruled that Twagirayezu could be extradited on suspicion of participating in a massacre at a church and a university where more than 1,000 people were murdered.

During the genocide, Twagirayezu was purportedly an official in the Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (CDR), a radical pro-Hutu party accused of orchestrating Tutsi attacks. 

The former primary school teacher allegedly led the militia operating in Rubavu District and which is suspected of targeting civilians who sought refuge at a university, the New Times reported. 

Twagirayezu has been in custody in Denmark since May last year. He denies the charges, saying “if I’m being extradited, I will accept that my time to die has come”. 

He is the second Rwandan extradited by Denmark, after Emmanuel Mbarushimana, who was sentenced to life in prison.

Rwanda abandoned the death penalty in 2007 in an effort to encourage countries that oppose capital punishment to extradite genocide suspects.

It has issued international arrest warrants for more than 800 murder suspects. 

Migrant crisis

Denmark’s right-wing government this month struck a deal to move “unwanted” immigrants to an uninhabited island once used for contagious animals.

Immigration minister Inger Støjberg of the Venstre party posted on Facebook that certain immigrants “are unwanted and they will feel it”. 

Støjberg posted: “When you are unwanted in Danish society, you should not be a nuisance for regular Danes [and you] will be getting a new address.”

The deal is part of the new finance bill for next year agreed with the populist Danish People’s Party (DPP).

DPP immigration spokesman Martin Henriksen said: “Our hope … is that people outside Denmark will understand that Denmark is not a very attractive place to seek asylum if you are of refugee background, mean to cause harm or incite crime.”

Lindholm in the southeast was suggested. It is 3km out to sea and housed a research centre for seriously ill and contagious animals.

It would be designed to house 100 residents that do not have a residence permit but cannot be deported if they face threats to their at home, cannot leave for national security reasons or if they are rejected asylum seekers among other reasons.

 

 

Rwanda in 1994. Picture credit: Wikimedia 

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