Taken Question from January 8, 2003 Daily Press Briefing
Question: What is the U.S. position on the announcement by the Rwandan government
that it will release 30,000-40,000 prisoners over the next month
Answer: The Rwandan Government has announced it will review the cases of 30,000
40,000 of the estimated 115,000 inmates in its jails. The Government plans to release
persons who have confessed to crimes of genocide but were not among the organizers
or planners of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, were between the ages of 14 and 18 when
they committed their crimes, are sick or elderly, or are accused of common crimes not
related to the genocide.
According to the Rwandan Government, investigations against these persons will
continue, but they will be released until the judicial system can accommodate their cases.
Many of the inmates in Rwanda's jails have been detained for nearly eight years without
trial due to Rwanda s overburdened judicial system. The United States fully supports
Rwanda s efforts to pursue justice for victims of the genocide. We continue to provide
both financial and moral support to the Rwandan Government for this purpose and
through the United Nations to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha,