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FC: U.N. hopes to shut down accused Rwandan journalist's web site
From: Declan McCullagh <declan () well com>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 11:47:38 -0500

Perhaps Mr. Ngeze is guilty as charged. But he nevertheless has the right to tell his side of the story and distribute relevant documents to bolster his defense -- and the United Nations is far out of line in dreaming up ways to censor him.

Unfortunately, this is not an abberation on the part of the U.N. See:




   Rwandan inmate launches Web site
   Massacre suspect claims he is target of UN conspiracy
   By Declan Walsh, Globe Correspondent , 2/15/2001

   NAIROBI - A Rwandan journalist accused of helping to orchestrate his
   country's genocidal massacre in 1994 has launched a Web site from
   inside his prison cell, causing consternation among United Nations
   officials at the east African facility where he is being held.

   Hassan Ngeze is on trial for crimes against humanity at the
   International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in the northern Tanzanian
   town of Arusha. He is refusing to attend his trial, claiming it is
   biased, but he has launched a parallel defense on a US-based Web site
   on which he protests his innocence.

   The tactic has alarmed UN officials, who fear the site could
   jeopardize the integrity of Ngeze's trial or the lives of anonymous
   witnesses testifying against him.

   And in an echo of last year's French court challenge that forced the
   Internet portal Yahoo! Inc. to end auctions of Nazi memorabilia, the
   United Nations may seek to break new legal ground and shut Ngeze's
   site down.


   Worried UN officials say Ngeze has clearly provided material for the
   Web site, because it includes documents only available within the UN
   detention facility in Arusha, along with recent photographs of Ngeze

   They fear it could prejudice the ongoing trial or, worse, be used to
   send coded messages about anonymous prosecution witnesses to the
   outside world, endangering their lives. They also say his allegations
   about UN staff are defamatory.


   The UN would like to shut down Ngeze's Web site but realizes such a
   move would raise ''very, very tricky legal and political issues,
   because the Web sites are being established and operated by people
   outside'' Tanzania, said tribunal registrar Agwu Okali at a news


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