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News Posted on November 13, 2015

Professor Pruitt Interviewed in Sacramento Bee Regarding Rwanda War Crimes Documentary

Professor Lisa R. Pruitt was interviewed by Sacramento Bee for an article on The Uncondemned, a new documentary that recounts the 1997 trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu, a Rwandan mayor who was convicted of nine counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. Pruitt appears in the film, which is being shown as part of the Napa Valley Film Festival in St. Helena on November 12-15.

The article describes how Professor Pruitt, as a PhD student and gender consultant to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1996, compiled a report on mass sexual violence during the Rwandan genocide that ultimately became the "smoking gun" in the successful prosecution of Akayesu.

With so many variables at play in such cases, "it almost takes a harmonic convergence" to get convictions, but the Akayesu case "proved it could be done," Pruitt said. "The stars aligned, and these women had their day in court on behalf of hundreds of thousands of others."

Lisa R. Pruitt is a professor at UC Davis School of Law whose recent scholarship explores the legal relevance of rural spatiality, including how it inflects dimensions of gender, race, and ethnicity.  Pruitt's work also considers rural-urban difference in transnational and international contexts.

Sacramento Bee