Rwandan Pastor Convicted of Genocide

A former Baptist pastor has been sentenced to life in prison for participating in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Francois Bazaramba, 59, was convicted by a Finnish court on Friday of intending to "destroy in whole or part the Rwandan Tutsis as a group," according to the Associated Press.

The court claimed that Bazaramba spread anti-Tutsi propaganda in an effort to incite "killings through fomenting anger and contempt towards Tutsis."

Some 800,000 Tutsis were killed by Hutu militants in the span of 100 days during 1994's genocide. The violence was prompted by the assassination of Hutu President Juvénal Habyarimana.

Advertisement

Bazaramba, who was the head of the Union of Baptist Churches of Rwanda (UEBR) in Nyakizu, moved to Finland in 2003 seeking asylum and was detained in 2007.

The Rwandan government accused him of having ties with Hutu militants and assisting them with a 10-day killing spree in Nyakizu that left 5,000 people dead.

Finnish authorities denied requests to have Bazaramba extradited to Rwanda for fear that he might not receive a fair trial.

Bazaramba's lawyers have said that he will appeal the ruling.

Copyright © 2013 Ecumenical News