I am writing to inform you of the death today of Mr. Jérôme Bicamumpaka in Nairobi.
The Network offers its condolences to his wife Jeannine Hakizimana and his two children, Astrid and Cedric. They were unjustly deprived of their husband/father for 23 years. All members of his family are Canadian citizens. I am attaching a family photograph obtained from Change.org.
Appointed Minister on April 9, 1994, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mr. Bicamumpaka was largely absent from Rwanda during the April-July 1994 war.
The ICTR Prosecutor had him arrested on April 6, 1999 for war crimes knowing that Mr. Bicamumpaka had been a diplomat. Detained throughout his trial, he was acquitted on September 20, 2011. His absence (alibi) was a key factor in his acquittal. The prosecutor did not even appeal. Shame on the Prosecutor for having maintained the charges for 12 years.
Since his acquittal, Canada has refused to allow Mr. Bicamumpaka, an acquitted man, to join his family in Montreal. Canada presumes members of the Rwandan government guilty despite the ICTR’s acquittal. The ICTR was created with the support of Canada. Double talk! Shame on Canada!
We all know that Mr. Bicamumpaka could have lived peacefully in Montreal with his family who loved him and probably would not have died today.
We know his wife, Mrs. Jeannine Hakizimana, who is an exemplary woman with her work with the Réseau international des femmes pour la Démocratie et la Paix – RIFDP.
I knew Mr. Bicamumpaka in Arusha. His insight and the strength of his thinking were formidable. In November 2021, he had the courage to refuse the transfer to Niger that the Mechanism wanted to impose on him.
We will all remember these injustices.
John Philpot, President, Rwandan Political Prisoners Support Network (RPPSN)