Practice Relating to Rule 128. Release and Return of Persons Deprived of Their Liberty
Rwanda’s Law Repressing the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (2003) provides:
A war crime is one of the following acts, committed during armed conflicts against persons or property protected under the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and its Additional Protocols I and II of 8 June 1977:
14° any unjustified delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war or civilian internees, after the cessation of active hostilities;
Shall be punished by one of the following penalties any person having committed one of the war crimes provided for in Article 8 of this law:
3° imprisonment for five (5) to ten (10) years where he has committed a crime provided for in point 4°, 5°, 13°, 14° or 15° of Article 8 of this law.
Following the 1992 N’Sele Cease-fire Agreement, the Rwandan Government adopted two amnesty laws, which led to the release of most of the persons detained in connection with the conflict. The rebels also released prisoners. In October, both parties declared that they no longer detained any prisoners of war.
In implementing the 1992 N’Sele Cease-fire Agreement, the Rwandan Government released 23 prisoners which were returned to the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) camp in July 1992 in cooperation with the ICRC, the Neutral Military Observer Group and the OAU. Similarly, the RPF released 11 prisoners using the ICRC as an intermediary.