Rwandan Minister answers question: how to measure “genocide ideology”
How do you measure “genocide ideology”? Don’t you think there are flaws in the genocide law?
This is the question journalis Kezio-Musoke asked Ms Louise Mushikiwabo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda.
Here is her answer:
People say the law against Rwandans engaging in “genocide ideology” was put in place by President Paul Kagame’s regime to keep them from talking.
Rwandans have talked about genocide and what has happened in this country for the past 20 years non-stop. How does one create a law that fights racism, genocide and bigotry that is precise?
There is no precision in “ideology” whether you are in France, the United States, Poland, Holland or South Africa.
I have looked at 15 other countries with these laws and they are as vague as they can be. I have seen similar laws about the Holocaust and I have seen people from these countries saying we have vague laws.
They have things as vague as, “insulting the memory of the dead,” or “offending a group of people because of their sexual preference.” What precision is there in that law? How do you interpret it? How do you think a Rwandan judge will interpret it in a way that will stop people from expressing themselves?
Maybe it is the usage of the words “genocide denial,” “negating the genocide,” “divisionism” and “genocide ideology?”
But it is the same with these other laws. What we are looking out for in our society are those things that could take us back to what we witnessed in this country.
In some of these other countries, it was the Holocaust, bigotry, racist behaviour. You can’t make a difference in measuring the degree of these things, it is all vague.
People outside the country should know that Rwanda has moved on in terms of political concepts and mindsets.
[Source: The East African]