A Manchester woman accused of deceiving U.S. customs officials about her role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, which her lawyers say amounts to a death sentence if she's deported.
Rwanda native Beatrice Munyenyezi declined to address the court before US District Judge Steven McAuliffe handed down the maximum sentence. As he did, the judge told the 43-year-old mother of three that she may have led a crime free life since arriving in NH in 1999, but said it was a life lived under false pretenses.
Munyenyezi was convicted in February of wrongly entering the U.S. as a refugee after lying about overseeing a Hutu militia roadblock where Tutsis were targeted and killed.
Munyenyezi’s husband was a leader in the extremist Hutu militia party, and is serving a life sentence for war crimes.
Munyenyezi’s lawyers say they will appeal her conviction the first district court of appeals.
They had asked for a one year sentence for Muynenezi so she could fight her deportation, which they say amounts to a death sentence.