Linda Melvern is a British investigative journalist. For several years she worked for The Sunday Times (UK), including on the investigative Insight Team. Since leaving the newspaper she has written six books of non-fiction and is widely published in the British press and academic journals. An Honorary Professor of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, in the Department of International Politics, Melvern is a world expert on the United Nations. For the past twenty years she has concentrated on the circumstances of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. She was the second vice-President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.
Melvern was a consultant to the Military One prosecution team at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and a part of her archive of documents on the planning and preparation of the genocide form a part of the documentary evidence used by the prosecution in this trial.
A first account of the circumstances of the genocide and the role of the decision making in the Security Council was published by Linda Melvern in The Scotsman (“Death by Diplomacy”, January 1995), and this included the story of the abandonment of the volunteer UN peacekeepers under their Force Commander, Lt. Gen Romeo Dallaire. Linda Melvern’s book on the genocide, A People Betrayed. The Role of the West in Rwanda’s Genocide, (Zed Books, 2000) is in its fifth impression and is used today as source material by students in universities world-wide. A People Betrayed was published in Sweden: “Att Förråda Ett Folk. Västmakterna Och Folkmordet I Rwanda”, (Ordfront 2003) A revised edition of A People Betrayed was published in 2009.
In April 2004 Linda Melvern published her second book about the genocide, “Conspiracy to Murder. The Rwandan Genocide”. (Verso), a detailed account of its planning, who was responsible, and how it progressed. Melvern has published numerous articles, essays and papers related to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. She has visited a wide variety of institutions in the UK and abroad in order to give presentations on the subject. These include at the Centre for Social Theory and Comparative History, UCLA; The Press Union, Athens; the Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.; Life After Death Conference, Kigali, 2001; the Genocide Prevention Conference, FCO and Aegis, Nottinghamshire, 2002; Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire; and the University of Mary Washington, Virginia. For the tenth commemoration of the genocide Melvern presented a paper at a conference at the Imperial War Museum, London, and was a panellist at the tenth commemorative conference in Kigali, Rwanda.
Other books include United Nations, a book for children (Franklin Watts World Organisations Series, 2001); "Techno-Bandits" (co-authored; Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1983), an account of the campaign by the US Department of Defense to stop the illicit Soviet efforts to acquire American technology; and "The End of the Street", published in London, in 1986 (Methuen), exposing the secret planning by Rupert Murdoch to destroy the British print unions and move his newspapers to a modern printing plant at Wapping. "The Ultimate Crime" (Allison and Busby, 1995) was a secret history of the UN’s first fifty years and was the basis of a TV series for Channel Four, the three-part "UN Blues" broadcast in January 1995.
- Official site
- "Comment: The west did intervene in Rwanda, on the wrong side" by Melvern, The Guardian, 5 April 2004