Survivors slam Dutch lawyer over Rwanda genocide negation

Survivors of the 1994 Rwanda genocide under their umbrella association of Rwanda genocide survivors (Ibuka) have condemned a Dutch lawyer for making irresponsible utterances that undermine Rwanda genocide.

Caroline Buisman, a Netherlands-based advocate on Monday told a district court at The Hague that the commemoration of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda is a manipulation by the government and is done to fulfill political agenda of ruling regime.

Buisman made the “alarming comments” during an extradition hearing for Jean Claude Iyamuremye and Jean Baptiste Mugimba, two indicted suspects on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

In the past, the Dutch prosecution filed a case against the duo, requesting the Netherlands to extradite them to Rwanda for their alleged role in the 1994 genocide.

Buisman acts as legal counsel for Iyamuremye.

The disparaging comments have left genocide survivors and the Rwanda National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) authority enraged and ungrateful.

“We have strongly condemned, without reservations, Caroline Buisman for trivialization of the remembrance of victims of the 1994 genocide. Her comments are mockery to genocide victims, survivors and the rest of Rwandans,” said Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, the president of Ibuka told reporters on Thursday.

He noted that her comment is an insult to the victims and survivors are still in shock that a learned lawyer is capable of saying such a statement in a public hearing.

“IBUKA, and the all survivor of the genocide condemns such comments and demands that she apologize to the survivors,” Dusingizemungu stated.

Jean-Damascène Bizimana, executive secretary of CNLG warned genocide deniers and revisionists who are intent on destroying the spirit of those who survived the genocide.

“Remembering innocent lives is not political manipulation but a duty by every nation in this world especially when it comes to a genocide in which more than one million people were killed. We strongly denounce the comments. Every year, the leaders of France and the Netherlands meet to remember the genocide against the Jews. Why has she not called that political manipulation?” He emphasized.

According to CNLG, Buisman used the platform as a revenge ground because she was last month asked to leave Rwandan territory after she lied to immigration authorities to gain entry into Rwanda.