John Philpot: Hommage to Colonel Théoneste Bagosora

Dear friends

I am writing to you regarding the death of Mr. Théoneste Bagosora on September 25 in a hospital in Bamako, Mali.

He was an honorable man who fell in the fight against the Rwandan Patriotic Front. It was the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda that intervened in the fight and sentenced him to 35 years in prison. Recently, the President of the Tribunal (the Mechanism that replaced the Tribunal), Judge Carmel Agius, refused to release him after he had served 2/3 of his sentence, even though he was aware of Mr. Bagosora’s advanced age.

Mr. Bagosora deserves to be honored by his people who are suffering from the dictatorship of Paul Kagame.

All the media scream that Mr. Bagosora was the mastermind of the genocide. However, the Tribunal apparently spent more than a billion dollars and found no planning of the “genocide”. As for Mr. Bagosora, rigorously defended by Mr. Raphael Constant of Martinique, the Tribunal did not find him guilty of planning, organizing “genocide” or killings or personal acts to kill people. He was found guilty of negligence with respect to his alleged subordinates for a few days following the assassination of President Habyarimana on April 6, 1994. He allegedly did not do what he ought to have done to do to prevent assassinations.

The mass media are lazy and ignoble who do not do their homework and allow themselves to relay the false myths propagated by the RPF and the West.

I had the honor to know this fine man who did not want to end his days in prison. I saw him several times in prison in Mali and it was always a pleasure to meet him. He lived with dignity in an unjust situation. I had the honor of knowing his wonderful family of whom he was very proud.

The Network sends its condolences to this wonderful family who loved him and visited him often.

We also know that the treatment of elderly ICTR prisoners in UN prisons is inadequate, both in terms of medical care and in terms of conditions of detention for the elderly. This must change.

John Philpot, President, RPPSN