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French Hospital Suspends Rwandan Doctor Convicted of Genocide

Europe

French Hospital Suspends Rwandan Doctor Convicted of Genocide

France has bowed to pressure from Rwanda to reverse a decision of hiring Dr. Charles Twagira at Paul Doumer hospital.

Dr. Twagira is a Rwandan physician who was in 2009 convicted in absentia of genocide charges.

His suspension from Paul Doumer public Hospital follows a protest issued by the Rwanda National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (RNCFG) on Monday.

The commission says hiring  Dr. Twagira, trivializes the 1994 Rwandan genocide against Tutsi in which a million lives were lost.

Dr. Twagira was hired by this public hospital outside Paris in January but the Paris regional hospital authority said in a statement to Associated Press on Tuesday that the hospital learned of the accusations against Twagira only a week after he started working there.

Then after, the hospital sought clarification from the Paris prosecutor’s office and decided to suspend him “to ensure the good functioning of the public hospital service,” the statement said.

The doctor is a former regional health director in Rwanda- he was found guilty in absentia in 2009 of crimes related to Rwanda’s genocide and sentenced to life imprisonment.

He is also under another investigation in France, where he was handed preliminary charges of complicity to genocide and crimes against humanity in 2014.

Meanwhile, Dr. Twagira denies those charges. On Tuesday, his lawyer, Arthur Vercken, said that the Rwandan case against Twagira was politically motivated and driven by a government that is “using investigations for political ends.”

Vercken reportedly told the hospital about his client’s legal problems when applying for the post. She argued that nothing was wrong “if someone who is under preliminary charges and presumed innocent gets a job while he is preparing his defense.”

Relations between Rwanda and France are increasingly tense over Rwanda accusing France of taking part in the 1994 genocide against Tutsi but France denies complicity.

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