Rwandan Woman Is First Ever Convicted of Genocide

Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and son Arsene Ntahobali found guilty in UN court
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 24, 2011 10:54 AM CDT
Skulls and bones from some of the estimated 10,000 Tutsis killed in a two-day massacre at Nyamata church during the genocide are displayed in a memorial.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

(Newser) – The UN Court trying suspects of the 1994 Rwanda genocide found a female former government minister and her son guilty of war crimes today and gave both life sentences, marking the first time a woman has been convicted of genocide. Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, Rwanda's former minister for family and women affairs, and her son, Arsene Ntahobali, a former militia leader, were both found guilty of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, including rape.

The court found that the mother and son helped to abduct hundreds of ethnic Tutsis who were assaulted, raped, and killed in the southern region of Butare. Nyiramasuhuko is the only woman to be charged before the special genocide court. Also today, the court sentenced to life in prison a former mayor, Elie Ndayambaje. Three others in the joint trial were given sentences ranging between 25 and 35 years. The court said all six would be credited with time served. Click through for more on the Rwanda trial.

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