Former Rwandan Woman Minister Sentenced to Life Imprisonment

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International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) today sentenced former Rwandan Minister of Women’s Development Pauline Nyiramasuhuko to life imprisonment for genocide and rape as a crime against humanity.

United States Department Spokeperson Victoria Nuland today said the U.S. government welcomes the ICTR conviction of Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, both of whom were convicted for genocide and rape as a crime against humanity, among other crimes.

ICTR
Dennis Byron, President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), briefs the Security Council at its meeting on the UN war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

Ms. Nuland also stated that the court also convicted former civilian officials Sylvain Nsabimana, Joseph Kanyabashi and Elie Ndayambaje and former Lt. Colonel Alphonse Nteziryayo, as part of the same indictment. Kanyabashi, Nteziryayo and Nsabimana were sentenced to 35, 30 and 25 years respectively.

“This ruling is an important step in providing justice and accountability for the Rwandan people and the international community. This conviction is a significant milestone because it demonstrates that rape is a crime of violence and it can be used as a tool of war by both men and women.” -Ms. Nuland

According to Ms. Nuland, Nyiramasuhuko was convicted for her role in aiding and abetting rapes and for her responsibility as a superior who ordered rapes committed by members of the Interahamwe militia.

Ms. Nuland noted there are still nine ICTR fugitives at-large. She said the United States urges all countries to redouble their cooperation with the ICTR so that the fugitives can be expeditiously arrested and brought to justice.

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