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Rwanda lawmakers considering legislation against genocide denial

[JURIST] Rwandan lawmakers may introduce a bill to criminalize denial of the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], according to Thursday reports. A senior researcher at the Rwanda National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG) [official website] said that they are preparing a bill [New Times report] for presentation to the Ministry of Culture. The proposed legislation would then have to go before the cabinet and eventually be approved by parliament. The CNLG has planned an international conference for early February to discuss the conservation of human remains from the genocide, in which more than 800,000 people, primarily Tutsis, were killed.

Rwanda would not be the first country to enact a law criminalizing denial of a genocide. Israel passed the Denial of Holocaust Prohibition Law [text] in 1986, and Switzerland has a law [text, in German] that makes genocide denial an imprisonable offense. In 2007, the European Union approved [JURIST report] a framework decision that would criminalize denial of the Holocaust.

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