The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has allowed Rwandan genocide detainees and convicts conjugal rights, a press statement issued on Saturday by the tribunal registrar said.
The statement said the decision was made in respect to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in keeping with similar rules at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The ICTY detainees have been enjoying the rights since 1993.
“Since May, the new policy authorizing conjugal visits has been adopted by the Registry as part of harmonizing policy matters between ICTR and the ICTY,” the statement quoted the tribunal spokesman, Roland Amoussouga, saying.
Amoussouga said the conjugal visits are exercised within set regulations under the rules of detention, and that any breach of the norms would mean automatic denial of any such future visits.
“The detained persons are presumed innocent, but convicted persons must only be deprived of the right to move freely,” he stated.
According to ICTR sources, a visitor may, among others, be required to undergo a background check, and the inmate must also be free of any sexually transmitted diseases.
As a matter of procedure, both visitor and inmate are searched before and after the visit, to ensure that the visitor has not attempted to smuggle any items in or out of the facility.
According to information provided by ICTR, there are 56 detainees including 18 convicts awaiting host countries.
ICTR was established in Arusha, Tanzania, in November 1994 to try key architects of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda which claimed over one million Rwandans in just one hundred days.
Source African Press Agency