Versione italiana | Search in site:

"Without hate or vengeance"

The story of Alain and Dafroza Gauthier

Alain and Dafroza Gauthier

Alain and Dafroza Gauthier

Alain and Dafroza Gauthier are two "genocide hunters" in the footsteps of Simon Wiesenthal. For more than 13 years, they have devoted their lives to the search of evidence and witnesses to track down and bring to justice the architects of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda who are hiding today in french territory.

Currently,  the couple, who lives in France, has 25 dossiers, including a profile of Pascal Simbikangwa, who was just sentenced to 25 years in prison by the Court of Paris. "They will deny forever - the couple says - they have completely deleted that part of their lives. They are forced to do so, otherwise they would end up in a nursing home. You can not live with such a crime. "

Dafroza is Rwandan and has lost most of her family during the genocide. Together with her husband Alain, she decided to get on the trail of the perpetrators because the murderers are to be judged, "We owe it to history and the victims. It's our turn - Dafroza reflects - as human beings and as survivors, to demand justice. Unless we do it, no one else will, and no one will pay for what happened "

It all started in 2001 when Dafroza attended the trial in Brussels of four Rwandans accused of crimes against humanity for the massacres of 1994. Here, the couple met with the members of an association dedicated to the search of the fugitive Rwandans living in Belgium that has decided to continue this work in France - founding the Collective of Civil Plaintiffs for Rwanda, which allows them to have a legal support to their investigations.

Investigations that, at least once a month, have lead them to Kigali. Once they have acquired the first clues in France, the couple travels to Rwanda to look for more evidence and examine witnesses.

One of the men found by Gauthier was also convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, established by the United Nations to condemn the perpetrators of the genocide. Today, it is difficult to know how many executioners are hidden in French territory, but according Dafroza there are still are at least 100. "Even though- recalls Dafroza - until you manage to get all the names, it will be hard to tell."

In these 13 years, the couple has collected information and reconstructed the possible crimes of 25 people - some even sought by Rwanda, Interpol and the Court - that have now become respectable French citizens: doctors, priests, politicians and prefects.

"We do it without hate or a sense of vengeance - says Alain - in the words of the 'Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal."

1 April 2014

Don’t miss the story of the Righteous and the memory of Good

Once a month you will receive articles and events selected by Gariwo Editorial Board. Please fill out the field below and click on subscribe.

Rwanda 1994

the extermination of Tutsis and moderate Hutus

From 6 April to 16 July 1994 Rwanda, a small country of Central Africa's region of the Great Lakes, was the scene of the genocide against the Tutsis and the moderate Hutus perpetrated by the extremists of the Hutu Power and the members of Akazu.
The region of Rwanda-Burundi, which was explored at the end of the Nineteenth century by the Germans, is assigned by the Society of Nations to Belgium for a mandate, in 1924. Fortified by the physiognomic theories of the Nineteenth century, Belgians placed their trust on the Tutsi ethnic group, which had conquered the crown around the Sixteenth century, unifying the country and establishing a feudal regome subjugating Hutus and Twas. In 1933 Belgians added the ethnical belonging to the Tutsis or Hutus to the data of the Rwandan ID cards.

read more

Featured story

Father Costantino Frisia

Missionary in Rwanda, he rescued some young Tutsi nuns during the hundred days of the Rwanda genocide