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Rwanda may eliminate death penalty in 1994 genocide cases

[JURIST] The governing party in Rwanda [JURIST news archive] is proposing legislation to eliminate the death penalty for genocide in an effort to encourage other countries to extradite suspects in the 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] that left at least 937,000 Tutsis and Hutus dead, according to Rwanda Attorney General Martin Ngoga speaking to AP Friday. Rwanda has demanded the extradition of suspects from several European countries, Canada and the United States, but the US has so far been the only country to comply when a suspect entered the US illegally [JURIST report]. Other countries have refused to extradite suspects, noting they might face the death penalty upon their return. Some 500 Rwanda genocide suspects have so far been sentenced to death, but only 22 have so far been executed, all those in a single 1998 event [Amnesty International press release] at a soccer stadium in Kigali, Rwanda's capital.

Twenty-three suspects have faced trials at the UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [official website] which does not levy death sentences, but the governing party wants to try suspects in Rwandan courts instead. AP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

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