As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, this email is in regard to your decision to proceed against the United Nations' request not to deport Dr Léon Mugesera to Rwanda.
I'd like to bring the following points to your attention:
1. An article in the Montreal Gazette on January 12 2012 reports your statement, “He is guilty of serious war crimes and he has to face justice in his country of origin." Dr Mugesera is NOT a convicted war criminal. No trial has taken place, despite his pleas for almost two decades to stand a fair and open trial. Your statement is incorrect and woefully uninformed. I would expect a Minister to be familiar with the facts of such an important case.
2. In the same article you state that Rwanda has “established a fair court system in their new, stable, democracy." Please sit down and watch these videos from informed and acknowledged sources carefully: Rwanda: no room left in politics, only in jail , and Inside Story - What next for Rwanda? As well, please read the content on the site of the respected Rwandan politician Victoire Ingabire, who dared to return home to offer political opposition to President Kagame. She was immediately jailed and remains imprisoned. Rwanda is NOT a democracy, it is a dictatorship, despite President Kagame's claims to the contrary.
3. You further say , "We do not send people back if our legal system determines they are likely to face cruel or unusual punishment. Our system has determined that he does not face such risk and it is time for him to go.” Again, see if you can make that statement honestly after viewing the videos. Pay particular attention to the shocking beheading of a political prisoner in detention.
4. The present Rwandan government under Kagame claims to have rescinded the death penalty in 2007. Why then do political prisoners continue to die in custody? Please read the following sections from a Human Rights Watch report called There Will Be No Trial: Police Killings of Detainees, Official Responses, Violations of International and Rwandan Law, and the Conclusion. The death penalty is alive and well in Rwanda. These documents alone absolutely require Canada to comply with UN requests not to deport Dr Mugesera to Rwanda.
5. A favored tactic of the dictatorial Kagame regime has been to accuse any opposition as "terrorists" or "implicated in genocide" or having "genocide ideology" and jail them indefinitely without trial. Read this account from Human Rights Watch: Rwanda: End Attacks on Opposition Parties. Kagame accused Dr Mugesera of "inciting genocide" after his army swept him into power following the horrible events of 1994. Mugesera had left Rwanda two years previously and had no further contact with the country. His 1992 speech was edited with his words rendered severely out of context, and broadcast without his knowledge in 1994. The words fed the violence, but they weren't as originally spoken by Mugesera. This is the only "basis" of Kagame's accusations of "inciting genocide".
6. From the Voice of Rwanda, January 15 2012: In two decades, Kagame has been unable to produce sufficient evidence to indict Dr Mugesera for genocide. But he has continued to press for extradition. It appears that Canada has now yielded to this manipulation against a Canadian citizen, despite the lack of evidence. How can you justify this?
7. Dr Mugesera's 1992 speech instructed his people to defend themselves against the marauding Ugandan RPF forces, led by now-President, then rebel, Kagame. Kagame's Tutsi army swept into power in 1994 within hours of the assassination of the President of Rwanda, amidst the genocidal turmoil sparked by that murder. Given Kagame's record on the treatment of his political opponents, there are several sources that are aghast at Canada's intention to give Dr Mugesera up to Kagame's vendetta. Here is just one.
8. Kagame's regime has been under continued criticism for human rights violations, i.e., Time for a review of UK policy on Rwanda. No sane person could maintain that the present Rwandan government fosters human rights.
Please excuse all the links, but there was no other way to provide the information. I sincerely hope that you and your staff read this email and take the time to look at all the material I have referred to. It will open your eyes to a situation of which I kindly choose to think you are unaware. I would not like to believe that an elected representative of the Canadian people would wilfully ignore the facts in such an important case.
Dr Mugesera is not asking for charges to be dropped. He asks only for a fair trial to clear his name. He would like to do this in his adopted country. If you as Canada's representative decide to ignore the UN's request and all the facts I have put before you, he asks only to be released to a country where the UN acknowledges he can receive a fair and open trial.
If your Ministry accedes to Kagame's demands and goes ahead with deporting Dr Mugesera to Rwanda, I hope you first sit quietly and give some thought to the man you are sending to his doom, and his family. Better yet, have the courage to talk to the man personally. He is after all a potential vote for your party.
In conclusion, Mr Kenney, I ask you to act as a Canadian and espouse the values that all Canadians and other free citizens of the world hold dear. Canada should not sacrifice its obligations and responsibilities for political expediency, convenience and interests.