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Rwanda War Crimes Tribuanl Erupts in Canada.

A Rwandan witness, known as C17, and a frustrated defense lawyer had a fiery exchange during a war crimes tribunal in Canada.  Richard Perras, representing Desire Munyaneza, was warned by Quebec's Superior Court Justice Andre Denis to be civil in his examination of the witness, after she became exasperated.  C17 has testified for two days about events in 1994, when most of her family was massacred and she was beaten and raped several times during the Rwandan genocides.  She made statements through a translator that she eventually became a sex slave to a Hutu militia, where she alleges she was repeatedly raped by Munyaneza. 

Rwanda War Crimes Tribuanl Erupts in Canada.Munyaneza, a Hutu, sought refugee status in Canada in 1997.  Following the passage of laws preventing asylum there for individuals complicit in war crimes, he was arrested in 2005.  According to witnesses, including C17, Munyaneza took part in the massacres in Rwanda, murdering several people with a machete.

UN estimates put the death toll from the genocide in Rwanda at about 800,000.  Munyaneza faces a life sentence from seven charges, including genocide and crimes against humanity.  Canadian law, passed in 2000, states that it "will not become a safe haven for persons who have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity or other reprehensible acts regardless of when or where they were committed."  Formally, Canada was seen as a haven for war crimes, including Nazi war criminals.  This is Canada's first war crimes trial.

The Canadian Press affiliates is covering this today here.



Daniel Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer for United Press International covering Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader Levant. He has published works on international and constitutional law pertaining to US terrorism cases and on child soldiers. His first major work, entitled The United States and Israel: The Implications of Alignment, is featured in the text, Strategic Interests in the Middle East: Opposition or Support for US Foreign Policy. He holds a MA in Diplomacy and International Conflict Management from Norwich University, where his focus was international relations theory, international law, and the role of non-state actors.

Areas of Focus:International law; Middle East; Government and Politics; non-state actors