22 February 2013

Rwanda: Munyenyezi Found Guilty, Stripped of U.S. Citizenship

Béatrice Munyenyezi, standing trial in the New Hampshire federal court in the United States was stripped of her citizenship yesterday, moments after a jury found her guilty of lying on immigration forms about her role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

As the verdict was read, Munyenyezi leaned her head forward and began to sob. One of her three daughters, whom she moved to Manchester with as a refugee in 1998, also buried her head in her hands and cried.

In a courtroom just down the hall from the one where Munyenyezi attended her naturalisation ceremony in 2003, U.S. District Court Judge Steven McAuliffe immediately revoked her citizenship.

The judge also ordered that Munyenyezi, who has been on house arrest since a first trial in her case ended with a hung jury last March, be taken back into custody. He said her lawyers could file a motion requesting she remain on home confinement until her sentencing.

Munyenyezi is wife of Arsène Shalom Ntahobari, a former militia leader in the genocidal regime, who, together with his mother, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, were convicted of Genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). They were sentenced to life in prison.

Munyenyezi is accused of manning a roadblock in the former Butare Prefecture and ordered the rape and murder of Tutsis.

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