Sunday, November 30, 2008


I just figured out that German citizens don't actually need a visa to the US. Yay. There is however an Electronic System of Travel Authorisation (currently voluntary) which includes some great questions such as:

Are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?

That started me thinking about any immoral activities that it could be fun to engage in whilst in the US. Is self-idolatry immoral?

Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities; or genocide?

Yes, Boris and I have been covertly trying to collect information on your ingenious political system in order to replicate it in the Congo.

Have you ever detained, retained or withheld custody of a child from a U.S. citizen... ?

I assume this means its ok if I detained a child from a citizen of another country?

Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude...?

I had to look up "turpitude". The first thing Wikipedia comes up with is that is is a legal term used in the Visa Waiver forms without proper explanation.

Am I morally turpit? Leave your opinions in the comments.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

French, Rwandans, Germans and judiciaries

Foreword: In the interests of German solidarity with the Government of Rwanda the author would like to express his solidarity with Rwandese dislike of all things French (except for French cuisine, a couple of nice French people I know and funny accents), and asks that his German passport not be held against him.

Back in 2006 Paul Kagame and other top Rwandan officials were indicted by a French judge for the shooting down of the former president's plane in 1994. This was a major trigger of the Rwandan genocide, but there is little evidence and many suspects in the case. The Rwandans responded by kicking all French organisations out of the country.

Under EU cooperation agreements, EU member countries are required to carry out arrest warrants of other member states. This, Germany did for one Rwandan official, Ms Kabuye, Chief of Protocol for the President, traveling through the country. This afternoon there were spontaneous government-ordered protests in the centre of Kigali and in front of the German embassy. (UPDATE 12/11: And the German embassador was asked to leave.)

On the arrest, the BBC writes:

Ms Kabuye has visited the country before but under German law could not be arrested as she was part of an official delegation. "Rwanda has been made aware on several recent occasions that if Ms Kabuye returned to Germany she would be arrested," said [a German] diplomat.

Al Jazeera quotes the Rwandan Information Minister who confirms :

Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda's information minister, said that Kabuye was not surprised at being arrested on arrival in Frankfurt.

And in the Rwandan pro-government New Times:

[Foreign affairs minister Rosemary Museminali] said that prior to her travel, the German government had warned Kabuye that she risked being arrested...

Seems clear. But then the Rwandan New Times quotes the Foreign Affairs Minister:

“We emphasised in the note that Kabuye ... was performing diplomatic duties and therefore the Germany authorities wouldn’t have arrested her...” said [Foreign Affairs Minister Museminali.


And to finish, who can explain how the whole "indictment -> arrest -> trial -> verdict" thing works?

"We have always been surprised that people can take these bogus indictments seriously. How can you condemn someone before even bothering to hear their side of the story?” [Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama] wondered. (New Times)