Rwandan Woman Loses US Citizenship Over Genocide

Beatrice Munyenyezi lied over her family's role, says New Hampshire jury

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 23, 2013 6:50 AM CST

(Newser) – A small window into the Rwandan genocide of 1994 has played out in a New Hampshire courtroom, resulting in the loss of US citizenship for a woman who came here after the massacre. A jury ruled that Beatrice Munyenyezi, 43, covered up the role she and her family played in the genocide when she gained citizenship a decade ago, reports the Guardian. Witnesses testified that Munyenyezi herself singled out Tutsis at a notorious roadblock to be raped and murdered. Her mother-in-law was a high-ranking Hutu who, along with Munyenyezi's husband, was convicted by an international tribunal of crimes against humanity. Both are serving life sentences.

Munyenyezi, who came to the US with her three daughters, is now behind bars in New Hampshire. She faces a 10-year sentence along with likely deportation to Rwanda, a fate her lawyers equate to a death sentence. The jury forewoman says she and fellow jurors sobbed over the verdict, which came after nine days of chilling testimony about the mass murders, reports AP. Munyenyezi may not have been as heavily involved as her husband and mother-in-law, but at the very least she checked IDs at the roadblock, she says. "I do feel we made the right decision, but it weighs so heavily on us."

Beatrice Munyenyezi leaves the federal courthouse in Concord, N.H., in this 2012 file photo.
Beatrice Munyenyezi leaves the federal courthouse in Concord, N.H., in this 2012 file photo.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
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