CAT/C/66/D/768/2016

1.3
On 4 May 2017, pursuant to rule 115 (3) of the Committee’s rules of procedure, the
Committee, acting through its Rapporteur on new complaints and interim measures,
rejected the State party’s request for the admissibility of the complaint to be examined
separately from the merits. The State party’s request for the discontinuance of the
complaint was rejected on the same date.
The facts as presented by the complainant
2.1
The complainant left Rwanda in April 1994. He initially fled to the Democratic
Republic of the Congo with his wife and children. He arrived in the Netherlands in 1999
and lived there with his family until 2016. On 22 November 2012, the Rwandan authorities
requested the complainant’s extradition on charges of genocide and membership of a
criminal organization. He was arrested by State party authorities on 23 January 2014. On 11
July 2014, The Hague District Court declared the extradition permissible on the charges of
genocide, but impermissible on the charges of membership of a criminal organization, as it
found that there was no treaty basis for extradition on such grounds. It noted that the
complainant would be tried under Organic law No. 11/2007 concerning transfer of cases to
the Republic of Rwanda from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and from
other States (Transfer Law), which established the legitimate expectation that Rwanda
would comply with fair trial guarantees. The District Court also noted that the complainant
had not sufficiently substantiated his claim that he would suffer a violation of his right to a
fair trial under article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights) if extradited to Rwanda
or that he was a political target and would be prosecuted for political offences. Furthermore,
the District Court found that it was the responsibility of the Minister of Justice and Security
to assess the complainant’s claim that he would be at risk of torture if extradited. The
decision was upheld by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands on 16 December 2014.
2.2
On 3 June 2015, the Minister of Justice and Security approved the extradition of the
complainant, finding that his extradition would not amount to a violation of article 3 of the
European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition of torture). The Minister noted that:
life imprisonment was not a disproportionate sentence for a conviction on charges of
genocide; the complainant would have the right to amnesty and rehabilitation, if convicted;
there was no risk of torture in the detention facilities; and the detention facilities complied
with international standards. Regarding a potential violation of article 6 of the European
Convention on Human Rights, the Minister concluded that the Rwandan authorities had
confirmed, in a letter of 18 November 2014, that the complainant had the right to
representation by foreign counsel; that the Government of Rwanda would cover the costs of
such representation; and that the Embassy of the Netherlands could monitor the
complainant’s trial and make all reports thereon publicly available. Finally, the Minister
noted that there was no link between the complainant’s alleged political criticism of the
Government of Rwanda and the charges against him.
2.3
The complainant challenged the decision of the Minister before The Hague District
Court. On 27 November 2015, the District Court found that the guarantees from the
Rwandan authorities regarding fair trial proceedings would not guarantee that the
complainant would receive a fair trial as defence lawyers in Rwanda habitually
underperformed and had inadequate funds to conduct effective investigations. On 5 July
2016, The Hague Court of Appeal reversed the judgment of the District Court. It noted that
the complainant’s submission regarding alleged inadequate defence in similar trials under
the Transfer Law did not establish a violation so fundamental as to amount to a nullification
of his rights under article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Furthermore, it
noted that many of the judicial inadequacies referred to by him had been resolved; he had
not demonstrated that human rights violations in Rwanda and judicial deficiencies in the
trials of political opponents were applicable in his case; he would be tried on charges of
genocide, not on charges related to political offences; and his extradition would not amount
to a violation of his rights under article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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