The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the appeal filed by Desire Munyaneza, who was in 2009 sentenced to life in prison for playing a major role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Reports from Canada indicate that the court did not explain why Munyaneza’s appeal request was rejected yesterday. He is the first person Canada has ever convicted under its War Crimes law.
Munyaneza was sentenced to life in prison and is not eligible for parole for 25 years for committing crimes of torture and rape during the Genocide.
During the initial ruling, the judges said Munyaneza chose to kill, rape and pillage in the name of his ethnic group’s supremacy and that he intentionally killed Tutsi and seriously wounded others.
Among the crimes that led to his life sentence was stuffing children in sacks and beating them to death with sticks.
Munyaneza was arrested at his Toronto-area home in 2005 and was eventually convicted on seven charges related to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Before to the Genocide, Munyaneza was running Butare Prefecture’s (now Huye District) main general stores. He was known as a political extremist and formed close working relationships with the principal military officers and local government officials who were charged with executing the Genocide.
During the 100 days of killings, he distinguished himself by virtue of his influence and dedication to the policy of the massacres, and the efficiency of his operations.
His responsibilities were to conduct surveillance of a network of roadblocks set up throughout the Butare, manned by militiamen wielding machetes, axes, nail-studded clubs and other instruments.
Genocide survivors accused him of personally raping Tutsi women and girls, and encouraged the militia under his command to do the same.
The convict was also blamed by witnesses and survivors for abducting Tutsi, with the help of soldiers, from Butare University Hospital.