Beatrice Munyenyezi of Manchester, NH was denied her US Citizenship and will be sent back to Rwanda after a trial convicting her of lying about her role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide case. Prosecutors stated that she lied about her involvement to gain US Citizenship. For now she is back behind bars, where she has been for the last 22 months. Her first trial ended in a deadlocked jury.
Munyenyezi faces up to 10 years in prison and deportation for being convicted on two counts of lying about her role in the genocide. Her lawyers state that being sent back to Rwanda is a death sentence for her because they will kill her when she gets back there. Defense attorney David Ruoff says he and attorney Mark Howard plan on appealing her conviction to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. He stated that he doesn’t think she will be deported, even if she is released from prison before judgment on the appeal, until they have decided on how to rule for the appeal.
Munyenyezi came to the US in 1998 with her three daughters. She got a job working at the Manchester Housing Authority for $13 an hour. She got a mortgage, loans, and credit cards, and eventually filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008. Her children had been enrolled in a Catholic school.
The jury took five hours to deliberate on a verdict. She wept loudly when she heard the guilty verdict and her daughter was seen sobbing as she was leaving the court. Munyenyezi was convicted for using fraudulent methods to obtain her US citizenship and also her refugee status. Munyenyezi denied having any part of the Hutu militia party, which is the political party that ran the genocide. This trial focused more on the fraud and less on the violence she committed.
In 2011 Munyenyezi’s husband and his mother were convicted and sentenced to life in prison for war crimes of violence and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal. They were both found to be high ranked members of the militia.