Practice Relating to Rule 89. Violence to Life
Rwanda’s Constitution (2003) provides:
A state of emergency and a state of siege shall be governed by the law and declared by the President of the Republic, following a decision of the Cabinet.
A declaration of a state of siege or of a state of emergency shall not under any circumstances violate the right to life and physical integrity of the person, the rights accorded to people by law in relation to their status, capacity and nationality; the principle of non-retroactivity of criminal law, the right to legal defence and freedom of conscience and religion.
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:
1° wilful killing;
15° … the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a competent court, and without respecting the rights of the accused;
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:
1° the death penalty or life imprisonment where he has committed a crime provided for in point 1°, 2°, 3°, 9°, 11° or 16° of 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.
In a declaration issued in 1990, the Rwandan Minister of Justice denied the reported allegations of existing threats to physically exterminate certain political prisoners.
Rwanda’s Ecole Supérieure Militaire teaches its students that the lives of captured enemy combatants shall be safeguarded.