Internews provides the only television news source with up-to-date information about the prosecution of genocide suspects that reaches low-income rural audiences in Rwanda.
Internews has produced twenty one ‘newsreel’ videos which have been seen by more than 200,000 Rwandan citizens across all twelve provinces.
These videos report on the prosecution of key Rwandan genocide suspects at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), as well as the justice proceedings at the Rwandan National Courts and gacaca (village courts).
After every screening, a local Internews moderator hosts an informal discussion about the film just shown. These sessions provides a unique opportunity for members of the rural audience to pose questions directly to various experts brought there by Internews. The relevant and newsworthy parts of the discussions are included in future videos. The experts who participate include delegates from the National Trauma Counselors Association and survivors and human rights associations; and representatives of the gacaca courts and the prosecutors’ offices.
Internews also provides screenings for VIPs and other personnel working at the ICTR, Rwandan National Court and gacaca. This provides a unique opportunity for officials to absorb the opinions and concerns of ordinary Rwandans about the post-genocide judicial process. Internews thus creates an invaluable ‘loop’ of communication to link citizens with officials entrusted to serve their interests.
The videos are also shown to genocide suspects awaiting trial in prison. This is their only opportunity to get news about the justice proceedings.
Since 1999, Internews has provided the international community with over 1,200 stories about the ICTR, National Courts, gacaca and the Burundi peace process. Internews articles have been taken by The Boston Globe, the New York Times, The Washington Post, Associated Press, Reuters, Africa Online and regional newspapers.
By 1999 it was clear that the coverage of the war crimes court was benefitting the international community but not getting to villagers living in Rwanda, most of whom could not read French or English. To begin addressing this gap, Internews Network produced Genocide on Trial a one hour documentary about the global justice system prosecuting the genocide in Rwanda.
The documentary, produced by Award winning filmmaker Mandy Jackobson in September 1999, lay the foundation of an ongoing nationwide dialogue on justice at the grassroots level.
Internews offers free copies of the video newsreels to international academics, researchers, lawyers, and other interested parties.
The newsreels are funded by USAID, the European Union, The Royal Embassy of the Netherlands, and the Samuel Rubin Foundation.