On but also kill the leader of their

On October 19th, 2005, seven charges
were filed against Desire Munyaneza, a Rwandan citizen who fled to Canada after
leading a genocide in Rwanda. He was charged with two counts of genocide
meaning he deliberately killed a large group of people of one ethic group. In
this case, he was one of the leader of the Hutu clan that wanted to murder all
those apart of the Tutsi clan. He was also charged with two counts of crimes
against humanity because he intentionally murdered and sexually assaulted Tutsi
civilians. Lastly, he was charged with three counts of war crime because he
intentionally murdered, sexually assaulted, and robbed people who were not
directly part of the genocide.1

 

Genocide

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

            The Rwandan
genocide was intended to murder any Tutsi in Rwanda by the Rwandan Hutu powered
government. The genocide started with the death of the second president of
Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana. Habyarimana’s plane was shot down on Kigali
airport on April 6th, 1994 and only a few hours after this news
spread the killing of Tutsis began.2
The Hutu commanders blamed the president’s death on the Rwandan Patriotic
Front, which is the current political party in Rwanda, and influenced the angry
mob of Hutu’s to kill all of the Tutsi members. The genocide spread throughout
6 provinces of Rwanda on just the first day3. When
peace officers received calls Kigali, the capital and largest city in Rwanda,
they spread a hoax that the RPF had killed Habyarimana. This was believable due
to the tension between the Tutsi and Hutu clan, it would make sense for a
political party run by the Tutsi group to assassinate the president who was not
only of the opposing party but also the opposing ethnic group. By killing the president,
the Tutsi group could not only get in political power but also kill the leader
of their rival clan. The genocide also only affected areas that were under the National
Republican Movement for Democracy and Development party and not the RPF.
Meaning that the party leaders in those areas were actually the ones who
encouraged the Hutu citizens to kill the Tutsi.

 

            In just the first
six weeks of the genocide 800,000 Rwandan citizens were murdered which makes
this genocide compete with the Holocaust because five times more Tutsi were
killed within the first six weeks than Jewish civilians.4
Now so did the killers identify the Tutsi and Hutu? When in small neighborhoods
where everyone knew what clan, each individual was apart of it was easy for the
Hutu to eliminate the Tutsi. But in industrial areas, road blocks where set up
as if they were crossing the border of your country, and they would be required
to your identity card which included their ethnic group. Anyone found to be
with a Tutsi were killed on the spot5. However, Tutsi members
weren’t the only ones killed, Hutu members showing mercy in any form were also
killed. As the killings started to occur in the northwestern part of Rwanda the
RPF started to get things slightly under control near the end of April in the
areas of Kigali and Byumba. But what could the RPF do there now, all the Tutsi
civilians were now dead. On June 23th, about 2500 United Nations soldiers
entered the southwestern part of Rwanda to carry out Opération Turquoise. Although
the mission wasn’t very successful it was intended to try and stop the violence
and create a safe zone for the remaining Tutsi members. In July, the RPF had
gotten control of the country, excluding the area used by the Opération
Turquoise soldiers. The genocide ended on July 18th, when the RPF
took control of the northwestern part of Rwanda. Once the Tutsi had got control
over the country, the Hutus fled to Burunadi, Tanzania, and Uganda.

 

Sexual
Violence

            Throughout the
Rwandan genocide about half a million Tutsi women were raped, sexually
mutilated, or murdered. However, these rapes aren’t the type of rapes you hear
about in Canada. They were sexually assaulted one on one rape, gang raped,
forced to serve as sex slaves, and were forced to marry their rapist. The women
who married their rapist were forced to stay with them even after the genocide.
Along with the rape of Tutsi women, any Hutu women found to be married to a
Tutsi or was hiding a Tutsi was also raped. Hutu men who had HIV actually used
it as a weapon by raping women so that the virus could be transmitted. Also,
although rape did occur in the in the victims’ houses, it commonly took place
in public when the women could be seen naked in front of everyone. The
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which was an international court
established in 1994 by the United Nations to find and decide who the leaders of
the Rwandan genocide, handed down its first conviction for the use of rape
during a civil war. The goal of the Hutu members against Tutsi women was to destroy,
in whole or in part, a particular ethnic group, this was the first-time
genocidal rape was committed. Someone falls under this conviction if they take
part in any of the following:

a)      Killing
members of the group;

b)      Causing
serious bodily or mental harm to the members of the group;

c)      Deliberately
inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its
physical destruction in whole or part;

d)      Imposing
measures intended to prevent births within the group;

e)      Forcibly
transferring children of the group to another group.

 

These half a million rapes were done by the
Interahamwe, which is a Hutu semi-militarized organization, the Rwandan
military, and regular Hutu civilians. The mass amount of rapes was lead by
political and military leader as a part of their goal to make the Tutsi members
suffer. A large amount of propaganda was used thorough print ads and the radio
to make people think that the Tutsi women were untrustworthy, and that they
were against the Hutu group. Out of the half a million women that were raped
nobody really knows how many war babies were born, but advocates believe there
could be about 20,000 or more. However, it would be completely wrong to say
that only women were raped during the genocide. Men were also sexually
assaulted and were left naked on the streets. They were also forced to rape
Tutsi women or were raped by Hutu women. It was clear that genocide was more
than just killing the Tutsis, the Hutu also wanted to humiliate them the most
they could before they eventually killed them.

 

Synopsis

      Born
in December 1966 in Rwanda, Désiré Munyaneza was one of the leaders of the
Rwandan genocide that killed about 800,000 Tutsis. Once the genocide was over
he fled to Canada in 1997 to avoid any punishment he might have been given.
Almost immediately after coming to Canada he filed a refugee claim, arguing
that he might be killed if he were to go back to Rwanda. That claim was denied
three years later largely due to the testimony of an RCMP war crimes
investigator. The officer tracked Munyaneza to the genocide, where the
Immigration and Refugee Board panel found three reasons to believe that he took
part in crimes against humanity during the genocide.

      Munyaneza
was living in Toronto when the RCMP arrested him on October 19th,
2005. Désiré Munyaneza faced seven charges under the Crimes against Humanity
and War Crimes Act, including two counts of genocide, two counts of crimes
against humanity and three counts of war crimes. He was accused of committing
murder, causing psychological terror, physical attacks, and sexual violence to further
his goal of wiping out the Tutsi clan.

 

Trial of
2007

      On
January 12th, 2007, a group of crown lawyers, defence attorneys, and
a judge from Montreal went to Rwanda for five weeks of hearing from 14
witnesses who could not come to Canada.  The
evidenced gathered by the witnesses was used in the Montreal trial in March,
where more than witnesses spoke against Munyaneza. The media said that, after
two years of being locked up in jail, he was beaten on a regular basis in the
spring of 2007. The prison guards also significantly reduced the about of time
Munyaneza could talk to his wife.

 

The
Sentencing & Appeals

      Munyaneza
was declared guilty on all seven charges, which included genocide, crimes
against humanity, and war crimes, on May 22nd 2009, by the Quebec
Superior Court. His sentencing hearing was to be held on the 15th
and 16th of September but was pushed to October 29th.
When he was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years,
the harshest sentence available in Canadian law. He immediately filed an appeal
against the Judge’s decision, arguing poorly defined charges, the
misunderstanding from the Judge, and that the witnesses were not reputable. The
hearing for the appeals took place in April 2013 until the judge dismissed all
of the defences arguments on May 7th, 2014.

 

Controversy

      Regarding
the actual case it was easy to determine who was at fault in this case due to
the large amount of evidence against the accused, but it is controversial on
weather it is reasonable for a country’s legal system to take responsibility
for a crime that happened in another country. Governments currently do have the
right to trial some people on such cases such as this one because it involved a
criminal who was a part of one of the biggest genocides of all time and fled to
Canada to escape punishment from his country’s government. However, the Tutsi
lead Rwandan government might have wanted to make Munyaneza pay for what he did
instead of giving him life in prison.

 

Impact
on Canadian Law & Culture

   This case has a significant impact on Canadian
law and culture was very because it was the first time someone was tried under
the Crimes Against Humanity Act and War Crimes Act, since they were founded on
June 24th, 2000. The International Criminal Court which was
established on July 17, 1998, in Rome, Italy states that national courts must
try war cases such as this one under their jurisdiction. Meaning they will be
tried under Canada’s laws, rather than the laws of the country in which they
committed the crime. This case shows that Canada is becoming more aggressive
towards war criminals who come to Canada for safety.  Canada has a terrible reputation for allowing
war criminals to live here without facing a significant punishment for the bad
deeds they did the past. In the 1980s, Canada had 774 suspected Holocaust criminals
living in the country without making them pay for what they had done to the
Jews. Out of the 774 criminals only four were charged but not even one of them
were convicted.   

1  Trial International. (2016, June 9). Desire
Munyaneza

2 UkEssays
(2015, March 23rd). The conflict between Tutsis and Hutus

3  Rwandan Genocide (N/A). Extermination

4 UkEssays
(2015, March 23rd). The conflict between Tutsis and Hutus

x

Hi!
I'm Isaac!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out