U.S. Woman Falsely Accused of Rwanda Genocide Rape Crimes

Linked with All Things Pass. – Published on Dissident Voice, by Keith Harmon Snow, June 29, 2010.

On June 24, 2010, U.S. agents in Manchester, New Hampshire arrested Rwandan genocide survivor Beatrice Munyenyezi, a Hutu and a U.S. citizen since 2004. Charged with lying on her immigration documents to conceal her alleged major role in genocide in Rwanda, Ms. Munyenyezi is also charged with rape as a war and genocide crime. Meanwhile, a federal prosecutor for the case is known for misconduct, falsification of evidence and perjury. Is it a crime to have a Facebook profile? Is it a crime to use a computer? …//


Beatrice Munyenyezi’s husband, Shalom Ntahobari, and mother-in-law, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, remain in detention at the ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania. Both have been on trial at the ICTR for more than ten years and are awaiting decisions on genocide and rape charges for more than a year now.

The same ‘Tutsi victims’ of rape who testified in the ICTR hearing against Shalom Ntahobari also allegedly testified in the case of Hutu businessman Désiré Munyaneza, the first alleged Rwanda genocidaire tried in Canada, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in October 2009. In Shalom Ntahobari’s case, the women could not even recognize the defendant in court, no matter their allegations of having been repeatedly raped.

Pauline Nyiramasuhuko was the first woman internationally charged with rape as a war crime or act of genocide. The former Minister of Family Affairs, she is accused of ordering Interahamwe militia to rape members of the Tutsi minority.

These rape charges were handed down immediately after then First Lady Hillary Clinton visited the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR). When Ms. Clinton pledged $600,000 to be paid after the first ICTR rape conviction was delivered, indictments at the ICTR were modified to include rape charges against most top alleged genocidaires on trial.

The case against Pauline Nyiramasuhuko was sensationalized in an eight-page feature in the New York Times Magazine (September 15, 2002). Penned by Peter Landesman and titled “The Minister of Rape: How Could a Woman Incite Rwanda’s Sex-Crime Genocide?” the magazine ran an unflattering and blurred photo of Ms. Nyiramasuhuko’s bespectacled face on the cover … (full long text and Notes 1 – 44).

(Keith Harmon Snow is a war correspondent, photographer and independent investigator, and a four time (2003, 2006, 2007, 2010) Project Censored award winner. He is also the 2009 Regent’s Lecturer in Law & Society at the University of California Santa Barbara, recognized for over a decade of work, outside of academia, contesting official narratives on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide while also working as a genocide investigator for the United Nations and other bodies. The first UCSB Regent’s Lecturer, in 1960, was Aldous Huxley; other recipients include Margaret Mead, Peter Matthiessen and Meredith Monk. Read other articles by Keith, or visit Keith’s website).

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