February 06, 2008
On Monday night, I spoke at the State University of New York at New Paltz on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In that speech I warned the students and members of the community present that everything our young children are taught today about the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a lie. And that it is a lie, purposefully told, to hide from view and justice, the real culprits. I went back to the December 1999 trial testimony of Bill Schapp who testified about the lies willingly printed by the most prestigious news houses of the day, including the New York Times, to destroy the reputation and effectiveness of Dr. King. I told the audience that for five long years, Dr. King endured the most treacherous treatment at the hands of the corporate press and that this treatment was even extended to his widow, Coretta, particularly by the Atlanta Constitution, after Dr. King was murdered. I warned the audience that it is clear that the malevolent intentions of the government are too often combined with the corporate press to deny the truth from the American people and the global community. So it was with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and so it is with what the world now knows as the Rwanda Genocide. I have only asked for the truth to be told and justice to follow.
While in Congress, I was involved in truth-seeking in the role of the United States government and the United Nations in what the world knows as the Rwanda Genocide. Outraged by what I learned, I agreed to testify in court in Spain on behalf of the truth. Today, I learned that that participation and that search for truth was worth it. Forty members of the Rwandan Army have been indicted for genocide. And the judge found that the current President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, was complicit--although he enjoys immunity as a sitting Head of State.
Here's the story I just received from my friends in Spain and across Europe. Congratulations to them for their pursuit of the truth. And thank you, my friends on this listserve for recognizing that the truth is not always what is presented to us. While it is increasingly difficult to find justice in U.S. courts, this is the second time within recent memory that Spanish courts have stepped up to give the world justice.
Please support my work in trying to pry open the acceptable political discourse in this country and expose the truth. Please visit www.allthingscynthiamckinney.com for more information on me, and to www.runcynthiarun.org to donate to my efforts. Here's the story:
Spanish judge indicts 40 Rwandan military officers for genocide
- Story Highlights
- A Spanish judge has indicted 40 current or former Rwandan military officers
- Men were indicted for several counts of genocide and human rights abuses
- More than 4 million Rwandans died or disappeared during the 1990s
- The majority of the victims were Hutu Rwandan refugees or Congolese civilians
From CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman
MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A Spanish judge Wednesday indicted 40 current or former Rwandan military officers for several counts of genocide and human rights abuses during the 1990s when several million Rwandans died or disappeared.
Rwanda does not have an extradition treaty with Spain, a court spokeswoman told CNN.
The indictments against the 40 are for "crimes of genocide, human rights abuses and terrorism," during the 1990s in Rwanda, "when more than four million Rwandans were killed or disappeared under an extermination plan for ethnic and/or political reasons," the court documents said.
The judge, Fernando Andreu, named eight Spaniards who died or disappeared during those tumultuous years in Rwanda. Their plight prompted his investigation at Spain's National Court in Madrid, which previously has investigated human rights violations against Spaniards during past military regimes in Chile, Argentina and elsewhere.
Five of the Spanish victims were missionaries. The bodies of four of them were found in late 1996 after they were tortured, and shot or hacked to death with machetes, the documents said, while a fifth is still missing.
Three other Spaniards were shot to death in early 1997 while working for a non-profit medical group providing aid to Hutu refugees in Rwanda, the documents said.
The majority of the victims during the wave of terror, the documents said, were Hutu Rwandan refugees or Congolese civilians, mainly Hutus as well.
The judge did not indict Rwanda's president, Paul Kagame, because he has immunity as head of state, the documents said. But the judge also found evidence of criminal activity by Kagame, based on the testimony of an informant who told the judge he previously worked on Kagame's security detail, the documents said.
In preparing the indictments, the judge heard testimony from 22 people who said they witnessed the horrors in Rwanda in the 1990s. All of them live in exile, mainly in Europe, and all have changed their identity for security reasons, except Maria Beatrice Umutesi, who lives in Belgium and has written a book about the killings, the documents said. The documents included a 182-page indictment and two accompanying summary documents.