Posted by: africanpressorganization | 26 May 2009

Rights & Democracy welcomes the conviction of Désiré Munyaneza



Rights & Democracy welcomes the conviction of Désiré Munyaneza


OTTAWA, Canada, May 26, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Rights &Democracy (the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development ) welcomes the Quebec Superior Court’s conviction of Désiré Munyaneza. He was found guilty on seven charges, including rape as an act of genocide, a crime against humanity, and a war crime for acts committed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Munyaneza, a Rwandan, arrived in Canada in 1997 seeking refugee status but his claim was rejected.

During the trial, several Rwandan witnesses described having been raped and forced into sexual slavery by Mr. Munyaneza as he helped round up people for execution in and around Butare between April and July 1994.

“This case demonstrates that there is no safe haven for those who commit such atrocities,” stated Remy M. Beauregard, President of Rights & Democracy, “and brings a measure of justice for survivors of sexual violence in Rwanda.”

The conviction of Mr. Munyaneza represents the first time the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act has been used to convict an individual. The Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act was adopted in 2000 to implement Canada’s obligations with respect to the International Criminal Court and to provide for the prosecution of international crimes before Canadian courts.

Rights & Democracy has been working for over a decade on the issue of violence against women in conflict situations and coordinates the international Coalition for Women’s Human Rights in Conflict Situations.  The Coalition aims to create legal precedents that recognize the full range of gender crimes committed against women and girls in conflict and to obtain justice and reparation for survivors of sexual violence.


Rights &Democracy


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