The Rwandan Genocide Trial: Lecture/Discussion
In the spring of 1994, nearly a million people were killed in a genocide in Rwanda that lasted only a hundred days. A tenth of the entire population was killed, an equivalent in the US of killing 75 million people. The genocide was perpetrated by government-sponsored militias, the army, and by ordinary citizens who killed their friends, neighbors, and sometimes even their own family members.
Most of us wonder how this kind of killing can happen. Inciting people to kill is part of the process that leads to genocide. In Rwanda, broadcasts over radio and messages in newspapers motivated Hutus to demonize and kill Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
After the genocide, the United Nations established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to prosecute the worst of the perpetrators. Among those who were put on trial were three men responsible for using the media to incite genocide.
Gregory Gordon, J.D., was one of the prosecutors of the ‘media trial.’ Gordon, Director at the University of North Dakota Center for Human Rights and Genocide Studies and a professor in the School of Law, will discuss the critical boundary between incitement and hate speech versus freedom of speech. In this trial, the media was found culpable in turning tens of thousands of ordinary Rwandans into killers. Two radio journalists and the owner of a newspaper were found guilty.
$10 general admission; $5 students and seniors; $35 for 2 standard CLEs for lawyers; continuing education credits for teachers. The event is co-sponsored by William Mitchell College of Law (http://www.wmitchell.edu/) and the Sociologists of Minnesota (http://socmn.org/).
Our Meetup group can meet right in front of Room 245 at the William Mitchell College of Law. Learn more about this event at http://worldwithoutgenocide.org/events-and-programs/upcoming-events/rwandatrial.