On February 19, 2007, Rwandan officials released 8,000 prisoners implicated in the country's 1994 genocide. Rwanda ordered the mass release to address prison overcrowding and to facilitate reconciliation. Officials stressed that no genocide masterminds were set free. Human rights groups denounced the release, however, and expressed fears that the freed prisoners might seek violent retribution against genocide survivors. Human Rights Watch (HRW) believed that the deaths of 13 genocide survivors in November 2006 were caused by released prisoners.
Flag of Rwanda
Learn more about the Rwandan genocide from the JURIST news archive.