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ICTR to allow conjugal visits for detainees

[JURIST] Genocide suspects held at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] will now be able to receive conjugal visits, court officials said Saturday. Court spokesman Roland Amoussouga said that the new policy would bring the court's practices more in line with those of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website], which has allowed conjugal visits since 1993, and with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [text]. Detainees must abide by the court's rules of detention [text] for the visits, and failure to do so would lead to the revocation of the privilege [Hirondelle News Agency report]. Rwandan officials criticized the new policy, calling it a "mockery" of the justice system [Daily News report] and saying that it is an "excessive" privilege [New Times report] to grant to those suspected of war crimes. The African Press Agency has more.

In early June, the ICTR prosecutor asked the UN Security Council [official website] to extend the court's mandate [JURIST report] so that it could complete all war crimes trials. Hassan Bubacar Jallow [official profile] said in a report [PDF text] that the recent arrests of several Rwandan genocide suspects meant that the court would not have time to finish several first-instance cases until 2009. Pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1503 (2003) [PDF text], the court is to complete all trials by the end of the year, and to complete all of its work, including appellate review, by 2010.

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