Rwandan pop star jailed for inciting genocide
Wednesday 03 December 2008
A UN court in Tanzania has sentenced a former pop star to 15 years in prison for his part in inciting Rwanda's 1994 genocide.
Judge Monica Weinberg de Roca said Simon Bikindi used a public address system to tell Hutus to exterminate Tutsi "snakes" and wrote hate-filled propaganda in his lyrics. "You have abused your stature as a well-known and popular artist... and an important figure in the Interahamwe movement by using your influence to incite genocide," she said.
The Interahamwe were militants from the Hutu ethnic majority. Bikindi's sentence will take account of seven years already served in prison. The Interahamwe used radio to urge Hutu civilians to kill their Tutsi neighbours and direct the slaughter. Bikindi's songs urged Hutus to remain united against the "Tutsi enemy".
The war crimes tribunal has convicted 32 people and acquitted five since it was set up in 1994. Two more judgments are expected by the end of the year.
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