Abril 10, 2007

Finnish police detain Rwanda genocide suspect

The Associated Press
Thursday, April 5, 2007

HELSINKI, Finland: Finnish police on Thursday arrested a Rwandan suspected of being involved in the 1994 genocide in his country, officials said.
The man, who has been living in Finland since 2003, is suspected of planning, organizing and participating in the massacres, said Tuula Kyren, spokeswoman for the National Bureau of Investigation.

"We are holding him and will question him within the next few days," Kyren said, but declined to give details of the suspect except to say he had applied for political asylum in Finland.

Kyren said police began investigating the suspect in January in close cooperation with Rwandan justice officials and the Tanzania-based United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

The investigation is expected to take several months, she said.

It is the first time that Finnish police have investigated a suspect in the Rwanda massacres, Kyren said.

On Tuesday, human rights campaigners launched an appeal to European Union nations to take legal action against dozens of Rwandan genocide suspects believed to be still at large in Europe.

Since 1997, 55 Rwandans have applied for political asylum in Finland. One was granted asylum and 34 have received temporary residence permits.

The 1994 genocide in Rwanda was carried out by extremists in the Hutu ethnic group against the Tutsi minority and Hutu moderates. At least 500,000 people were killed.

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