RIB warns against genocide ideology ahead of Kwibuka27

Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has warned the public to avoid any form of genocide ideology and related crimes, noting that such acts will not be tolerated.

The related crimes include genocide denial, minimization of genocide, justification of genocide, violence against a genocide survivor, disposing of or degrading evidence or information related to genocide, and others.

The caution by RIB comes as Rwanda and the rest world prepare to commemorate the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi that claimed one million people in 100 days.

This year’s 27th commemoration will begin on Wednesday, April 7.

Statistics by RIB show that the trend of genocide ideology and related crimes has slightly, according to the investigations body.

Such cases normally increase during the commemoration week.

In 2020, the investigation body received 530 cases of genocide denial and related crimes, a slight decrease compared to 537 in 2019 and 542 in 2018.

In 2017, a total of 497 cases of genocide denial and related crimes were reported to RIB.

According to Thierry Murangira, the Spokesperson of RIB, fighting genocide ideology and related crimes is everyone's responsibility.

“We urge the public to avoid genocide ideology and other related crimes by all means. Any speeches, messages or other expressions that manifest genocide ideology is punishable by the law,” he said.

He also explained that most of the cases reported to RIB nowadays are those committed via internet, hence underscoring that “caution while using social media is vital, especially during the commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi”.

Murangira noted that in case one witnesses a case of genocide ideology or other related crimes, they should report to RIB via a toll-free line 166 or go to a nearby RIB station.

According to the law on the crime of genocide ideology and related crimes, a person who, in public, either verbally, in writing, through images or in any other manner, commits an act that manifests an ideology that supports or advocates for destroying, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, commits an offence.

Upon conviction, the person is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than seven years, with a fine of not less than Rwf500,000 and not more than one million Rwandan francs.

The same punishment is given to a person who manifests a behavior or commits an act intended to harass, intimidate, dehumanize, recall boastfully the wrong they have done, mock, insult a person or destroy his/her property, on the ground that the victim is a survivor of genocide.