GENEVA, N.Y.-Justice in Rwanda: Genocide and the Arusha Trials will begin at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27, in Albright Auditorium on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus. The film “Genocide on Trial” will be shown, and then discussion will follow with the film's director, Mandy Jacobsen, and Rwandan genocide survivor Louise Mushikiwabo. The event is part of the Genocide in the 20th Century lecture series.
“Genocide on Trial” is a multi-stage media project that discusses the ongoing efforts to bring justice and accountability to Rwanda in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, which cost approximately 800,000 people their lives. The project seeks not only to document these new experiments in law, punishment, responsibility, and rebuilding, but also to assist in the creation of a society where justice might have meaning for the future. Today, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) holds court in Arusha, Tanzania, prosecuting those responsible for violating international criminal law, while in Rwanda the fledgling national courts are charged with prosecuting 120,000 suspects. “Genocide On Trial,” by capturing and bringing the work of the ICTR to Rwanda, aims to lay the foundation for a genuine nationwide dialogue on justice, at all levels of Rwandan society.
Jacobson, director of “Genocide on Trial,” is the producer and co-director of “Calling the Ghosts: A Film about Rape, War and Women.” “Calling the Ghosts” has won numerous awards including two Emmys for Best Investigative Special and Directing, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the CableAce Best Informational Special, and the Human Rights Watch Nestor Almendros Award. The film has enjoyed widespread coverage, premiering for HBO on CINEMAX, and was featured on CNN and CBS's “60 Minutes” and in over 40 international markets. Most recently, Jacobson worked as the field producer on the award-winning two-hour PBS special, “Facing the Truth with Bill Moyers,” about South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. That film received the DuPont-Columbia Gold Baton and a Peabody Award.
Mushikiwabo, consulting producer for “Genocide on Trial” and Washington representative for the U.S.-Africa Foundation, is the first Rwandan genocide survivor to file a class-action lawsuit in a U.S. court against one of the top perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide. She is also the co-founder and president of The Rwandan's Children Fund, a charitable organization in the metropolitan Washington area that raises funds to sponsor Rwandan high school teenagers orphaned by the genocide. She is currently involved in a legal action against the United Nations for gross negligence in the murder of her brother's family while they were under the protection of UN troops.
The Internews process begins with a one-hour video compilation (“The Arusha Tapes”) of the critical moments of the first five years of the Arusha Tribunal, continues with public screenings of this tape across Rwanda, and culminates in a feature-length documentary (“Genocide on Trial”) incorporating footage of “The Arusha Tapes” and responses from Rwandans to these extraordinary legal efforts. Since 1998, Internews has supplied the only regular English-language print news coverage of the International Criminal Tribunal in Arusha, distributing stories to international media on the political complexities and often precedent-setting legal decisions of this unusual institution.
Internews is an international non-profit organization that supports open media worldwide. The company fosters independent media in emerging democracies, produces innovative television and radio programming and Internet content, and uses the media to reduce conflict within and between countries. Internews programs are based on the conviction that vigorous and diverse mass media form an essential cornerstone of a free and open society. Projects currently span the former Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa and the United States.
By sponsoring this Genocide series, the Hobart and William Smith community hopes to improve understanding of all life-annihilation processes inherent in our modern world and to help participants learn more about the circumstances under which life-destruction processes tend to focus on specific groups in events known as genocide. The discussion series features numerous speakers, as well as faculty-student reading groups and special seminars.