A defense witness said on Wednesday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the musician Simon Bikindi, accused of inciting the genocide of Tutsis through his work, sang rather equality between Rwandans.The protected witness "XBR", a Tutsi, was a member of ballet led by Imbonezamihigo Bikindi in the 1980s.XBR was part of the group that played the song "Twasereye ingoma ago CYAM" (We said goodbye to the feudal system) to mark the 25th anniversary of the independence of Rwanda in 1987.The ICTR prosecutor said at least three of Bikindi's songs, including "Twasezereye ingoma CYAM ago," were the components of the plan of genocide.
The prosecution alleges
that the works of Bikindi incited hatred against Tutsis and inviting
people to attack them and kill them because of their ethnicity.
witness, who sang in front of the room a piece of "Twasezereye ingoma
CYAM ago," said the message in the song was more that 25 years after
independence, "the country was at peace and the Hutus, Tutsi and Twa were equal. "
The witness said the message was clear and that the group did not need the help of Bikindi to grasp its scope. "We understood the message. It was only expressing the fact that this was no longer a monarchy in which many people had suffered, "said XBR.
further into the matter, the witness indicated that a portion of the
text says: "Dear Rwandans, come see the new Rwanda where Hutus, Tutsis
and Twas are equal. The whip, forced labor are not. We answer these, young and old, we are close to open for the development of Rwanda "According to XBR, "the message reflected the reality of the country. Hutu, Tutsi, Twa were equal. "
The official history of Rwanda before 1994 refers to the enslavement of Hutus by Tutsis before independence. The witness further stated that Bikindi was not a politician. His lawyers argue that his only passion was music. Bikindi was represented by Mr Andreas O'Shea the Bar of England and Wales and Jean de Dieu Momo Bar Cameroon.
introducing the witnesses Monday, Mr. O'Shea said the songs Bikindi
certainly refer to a historical context but that the artist was not a
man politically motivated. Arrested in the Netherlands in July 2001, Bikindi, 53, is considered since September 18, 2006. The prosecutor cited 17 witnesses in this case. Defense in 42 states. The last defense witness should be heard Nov. 21.
AT / PB / GF © Hirondelle News Agency
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