Around New England

Man Charged With Lying About His Role In The Rwandan Genocide

March 27, 2024

A Rwandan man faces federal charges in Boston in connection with accusations he concealed his involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which resulted in the deaths of over 800,000 people.

In addition to charges of obstruction of justice and perjury, the defendant is accused of participating in the killings by using brutal methods such as striking victims with nail-studded clubs and hacking them to death with machetes.

Eric Tabaro Nshimiye, also known as Eric Tabaro Nshimiyimana, a 52-year-old who lives in Uniontown, Ohio, has been indicted on multiple counts including perjury, obstruction of justice, and engaging in a scheme to hide crucial information from federal authorities.

Nshimiye was initially apprehended and charged through a criminal complaint on March 21, 2024. Following an initial court appearance in the Northern District of Ohio, he was detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for March 31, 2024, with further proceedings expected to take place in federal court in Boston, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.

Nshimiye was a medical student at the University of Rwanda in the early 1990s, during a period of significant ethnic tension in the country. He and another individual, Jean Leonard Teganya, were known members of the National Revolutionary Movement for Development (MRND) political party and the Interahamwe, a violent youth wing associated with the party. After the assassination of the Hutu president in 1994, Rwanda descended into a genocide where members of the Hutu majority systematically killed around 800,000 Tutsis in about 100 days.

Nshimiye is accused of participating in the genocide by murdering Tutsi individuals, including women and children, through brutal means. Witnesses have reportedly identified specific instances in which Nshimiye committed these crimes, including the murder of a 14-year-old boy and a man working at the university hospital. Furthermore, prosecutors say Nshimiye was involved in and facilitated the rape of numerous Tutsi women during the genocide.

Following the genocide, Nshimiye fled Rwanda and eventually made his way to the United States, where, according to federal authorities, he provided false information to immigration officials to gain refugee status in 1995. Prosecutors say he settled in Ohio and continued to misrepresent his involvement in the genocide to get lawful permanent residence and, later, U.S. citizenship.

In 2019, Nshimiye testified in the trial of Jean Leonard Teganya, denying both his and Teganya’s participation in the genocide. Teganya was subsequently convicted of immigration fraud and perjury. The complaint against Nshimiye alleges that he assisted Teganya in obstructing justice during the trial and provided false testimony regarding their involvement in the MRND.

The 2019 trial took place in Boston, meaning Nshimiye’s alleged crimes occurred there.

Additionally, Nshimiye is accused of lying to federal agents during recent interviews about his activities before coming to the United States and about the documentation he provided to obtain citizenship.

The charges against Nshimiye carry various penalties, including imprisonment for up to five years for perjury, ten years for obstruction of justice, and fines of up to $250,000 for each offense.


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