Legal proceedings A pastor convicted of the Rwandan genocide is seeking release from life imprisonment

François Bazaramba, 70, has been imprisoned for about 14 years.

Rwanda Rwandan pastor sentenced to genocide to life imprisonment François Bazaramba seeks access to parole.

The Helsinki Court of Appeal will hear Bazaramba’s application at an oral hearing on 28 January.

Bazaramba has applied for freedom once before. Two years ago the Court of Appeal dismissed his request for release.

According to the Court of Appeal, the act that led to life imprisonment, which is exceptionally serious, spoke out against the release at that time. It involves a number of acts, each of which could lead to life imprisonment.

“Although the acts were committed during the Civil War, neither they nor, in particular, their aims can be considered as a factor reducing the aggravation of the acts,” the court stated.

Bazaramba has been imprisoned since April 2007. Both the Porvoo District Court and Convicted by the Helsinki Court of Appeal sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide. Bazaramba had been involved in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Bararamba is now 70 years old.

The request for release will be dealt with in camera. According to a statement from the Court of Appeal, Bazaramba will participate in the proceedings either in person or via video link from the prison.

By law, a person sentenced to life imprisonment may be released on parole after serving at least 12 years of the sentence. The Helsinki Court of Appeal decides on the release.


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