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Help free a Rwandan scientist imprisoned while on a humanitarian mission

Barbara E. Liedl bl14 at cornell.edu
Fri Mar 17 03:41:42 EST 1995

Dr. Martin Bicamumpaka is a Rwandan agricultural scientist, who has spent 
his life working to improve agriculture in Sub-Sahara Africa.  During the 
recent unrest in Rwanda, he along with his family left Rwanda for a 
neighboring country.  His current post is as the coordinator of PRAPACE, a 
regional network composed of the potato and sweetpotato research programs of 
six African countries:  Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zaire.  
PRAPACE provides established mechanisms for the lateral transfer of improved 
materials and technologies for potatoes and sweetpotatoes among the member 
countries.  Because of his expertise, he was asked attend an international 
workshop on the "Seeds of Hope" program in Rwanda and after his arrival on 
February 2nd he was arrested. 

He is currently in Kigali Central Prison accused of serious crimes related to 
genocide.  There are currently 6,500 prisoners begin held in this prison, a 
facility built for 2,500.People are sick and are dying in this prison every 
day.  The justice system in Rwanda is understaffed and procedures for cases 
like Dr. Bicamumpaka's have not yet been worked out.  The U.N. High Commission 
on Human Rights will follow his case- but a very important part of this 
process is to keep Dr. Bicamumpaka's name and case visible, by writing letters 

PLEASE write a letter to:  Dr. Augustine Iyamuremye
                           Minister of Agriculture

This letter should mention that Dr. Bicamumpaka's whole career has been devoted to 
improving the agricultural situation in Rwanda and that the charges against 
him must be in error.  It does not matter if you know Martin Bicamumpaka 
personally or not; what matters is the volume of letters that the Minister 
receives.  Please take the time to write a letter and help Dr. Bicamumpaka 
survive this dangerous situation.

Any questions about this situation should be directed to:

Laurie_Hanley at qmrelay.mail.cornell.edu

THANK YOU for your assistance.

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