|Born||25 December 1957
Rubavu commune, Gisenyi prefecture, Rwanda
|Criminal charge||conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide; complicity in genocide; and crimes against humanity (persecution, extermination and murder)
(ICTR-97-27-1 on 10 November 1999)
|Criminal penalty||Life imprisonment, reduced to a 35-year prison term (28 November 1997 by the ICTR Appeals Chamber)|
|Criminal status||Incarcerated in Mali|
Hassan Ngeze (born 25 December 1957) is a Rwandan journalist best known for spreading anti-Tutsi propaganda and Hutu superiority through his newspaper, Kangura, which he founded in 1990. Ngeze was a founding member and leadership figure in the Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (CDR), a Rwandan Hutu Power political party that is known for helping to incite the genocide.
Ngeze is best known for publishing the "Hutu Ten Commandments" in the December edition of Kangura in 1990, which were essential in creating and spreading the anti-Tutsi feeling among Rwandan Hutus that led to the Rwandan Genocide.
Ngeze was born in Rubavu commune, Gisenyi prefecture, in Rwanda. He is a Muslim, of Hutu ethnicity. In addition to working as a journalist starting in 1978, Ngeze allegedly also earned money as a bus driver.
Kangura, the "Hutu Ten Commandments" and RTLM
Ngeze was the Editor-in-Chief of the bimonthly Kangura magazine, which was initially intended as a counterweight to the popular anti-government newspaper Kanguka, and was financed by high-level members in the ruling MRND party of Hutu dictator Juvénal Habyarimana. Ngeze and his magazine had extensive links to the Akazu, the network of officials surrounding the President and his wife; this group included supporters of Hutu Power and the architects of the Rwandan Genocide.
In December 1990, Ngeze published the Hutu Ten Commandments (sometimes called the Ten Commandments of the Bahutu) in Kangura, which made disparaging remarks about Tutsis in general and Tutsi women in particular. With the Hutu Ten Commandments, Ngeze revived, revised, and reconciled the Hamitic myth (Tutsis were considered by the Europeans to be a "Hamitic race" superior to the "Negroid" populations of Sub-Saharan Africa based on their having more Caucasoid facial features; that is, the idea that the Tutsis were foreign invaders and thus should not be part of the Hutu-majority country) and the rhetoric of the Hutu revolution to promote a doctrine of militant Hutu purity. The "Hutu Ten Commandments" were essential in creating and spreading the anti-Tutsi feeling among Rwandan Hutus that led to the Rwandan Genocide.
In 1993, Ngeze became a shareholder and correspondent for the newly founded Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), which was largely a radio equivalent of Kangura. he was interviewed approximately eight times on RTLM.
During the Rwandan Genocide, Ngeze provided RTLM with names of people to be killed in his prefecture, which were broadcast on air. He was interviewed by RTLM and Radio Rwanda several times between April and June 1994, and in these broadcasts called for the extermination of the Tutsis and Hutus in opposition to the government.
Trial and imprisonment
Ngeze fled Rwanda in June 1994 as the country fell to the RPF. He was arrested in Mombasa, Kenya on July 18, 1997, and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2003, by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. In 2007, the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR reversed some of his convictions, but confirmed others. It also changed his life sentence to one of 35 years' imprisonment.
On 3 December 2008 he was sent to Mali to serve his sentence of imprisonment.
- The Prosecutor v. Ferdinand Nahimana, Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, Hassan Ngeze (Judgement and Sentence), ICTR-99-52-T, pg. 7, Nr. 2.7, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), 3 December 2003, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/404468bc2.html [accessed 21 March 2013]
- Christian P. Scherrer, Institute for Research on Ethnicity and Conflict Resolution. Ongoing crisis in Central Africa: revolution in Congo and disorder in the Great Lakes region: conflict impact assessment and policy options. Institute for Research on Ethnicity and Conflict Resolution, 1998. Pp. 83.
- Front Cover Dina Temple-Raston. Justice on the Grass: Three Rwandan Journalists, Their Trial for War Crimes and a Nation's Quest for Redemption. Simon and Schuster, 2005. Pp. 170.
- Wax, Emily. “Journalists Sentenced In Rwanda Genocide; Prosecutor Said 'Hate Media' Urged Killings”, Washington Post (2003-12-04).
- Thompson, Allan (Ed.) (2007). The Media and the Rwanda Genocide. Pluto Press, Fountain Publishers, IDRC. p. 118. ISBN 0-74532-625-0. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Hutu Ten Commandments
- International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Summary of Judgment
- Ngeze’s personal website, created during his trial by the ICTR
- Kanguka and Kangura magazines
- RwandaFile: Articles from Kangura, in English, French and Kinyarwanda