[QODLink]
Africa
Rwandan woman jailed for genocide
Former minister of women's affairs becomes first female to be convicted of genocide by UN court for Rwanda.
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2011 11:52
Nyiramusuhuko was found guilty along with her son and four other former officials [EPA]

Judges at the UN court for Rwanda have sentenced a former Rwandan minister for women's affair, to life in prison for genocide and incitement to rape.

The ruling by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) means that Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, 65, is the first women to be ever convicted of genocide.

She was found guilty on seven of the 11 genocide charges she faced for atrocities committed in Rwanda's southern Butare region in 1994.
 
"For these crimes, and considering all relevant circumstances, the chamber sentences you, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, to life imprisonment," said William Hussein Sekule, the presiding judge, on Friday.

"Pauline Nyiramasuhuko conspired with other members of the interim government to commit genocide in Butare.

IN VIDEO

Al Jazeera speaks to journalist Andrew Wallis who followed the trial in Tanzania.

"She ordered rape at the Butare prefecture office. She had superior responsibility on the Interahamwe [militia which she ordered] to commit the rapes at the Butare prefecture."

Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, the former minister's son, is one of five co-accused, who was also sentenced to life for crimes including genocide, extermination and rape as a crime against humanity.

The other co-accused, all former senior officials in the Butare area, were sentenced to terms ranging from 25 years to life at the court in Tanzania.

Only female

Nyiramasuhuko was born into a modest family in southern Rwanda. At the age of 40 she enrolled at university, gaining a law degree four years later.

In April 1992 she was appointed minister for women's affairs, a position she continued to hold in 1994 when approximately 800,000 people, mostly minority Tutsi, were killed by majority Hutus.

After the victory of the Rwandan Patriotic Front she fled into neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

She was arrested in Kenya in July 1997 and transferred to the ICTR.

The only female detainee at the UN court, Nyiramasuhuko first appeared at the tribunal in 2001, in what has been the longest-running trial at the ICTR.

The verdict comes 16 years after the first of the co-accused was arrested.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Influential independence figure has been key in promoting Scottish nationalism, but will his efforts succeed?
Teenage phenom with quick hands and a passion for boxing has reminded many of the great Filipino fighter at a young age.
Families of Britons killed in 2013 siege at gas plant in Algeria frustrated by inquiry delay over 'sensitive' materials.
Rhinoceros beetles once drew 40,000 visitors each year to Tamura city, but nuclear disaster has decimated beetle mania.
In run-up to US midterm elections, backers of immigration law changes disappointed by postponement of executive action.
join our mailing list