CHICAGO - An alleged human rights violator, wanted by Rwandan authorities on charges he committed crimes against humanity during the 1994 genocide, was deported to Rwanda on Wednesday by agents and officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Jean-Marie Vianney Mudahinyuka, 50, was removed to Rwanda on a government charter flight. He arrived in Kigali, Rwanda, on Jan. 28, where he is wanted on an international arrest warrant. Upon arrival in Kigali, ICE ERO agents turned Mudahinyuka over to the custody of the Rwandan National Police to face charges of genocide and war crimes.
Mudahinyuka illegally entered the United States in 2000 by concealing his true identity to an immigration officer.
After settling in the Chicago area, six witnesses identified Mudahinyuka as a perpetrator of the Rwandan genocide, and one witness allegedly saw him commit murder and rape. Special agents with ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted an extensive investigation that revealed that Mudahinyuka was a member of a Hutu militia that committed crimes against humanity. ICE agents arrested Mudahinyuka in May 2004 on federal immigration fraud charges. During his arrest at his Romeoville, Ill., residence, Mudahinyuka assaulted a Homeland Security Investigations agent and attempted to seize the agent's weapon.
In June 2005, Mudahinyuka was convicted in federal district court in Chicago for committing immigration fraud and assaulting a federal officer. He was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison and was transferred to ICE custody on Feb. 4, 2008, after he completed his prison sentence.
"This removal is a significant step forward in the quest for justice for the terrible atrocities committed in Rwanda more than 15 years ago," said ICE Director John Morton. "To those who think they can come to the United States to escape their criminal past - think again. ICE will not allow fugitives from justice to use the United States as a safe haven from justice."
After completing his federal prison sentence, Mudahinyuka's case was referred to a federal immigration judge, who denied all relief. He contested his deportation through various courts until the U.S. Supreme Court denied his request for a stay of deportation on Nov. 4, 2010.
ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit (HRVWCU) investigates human rights violators, including those who have participated in war crimes and acts of genocide, torture, extra-judicial killings, and violations of religious freedom, who seek to evade justice by seeking shelter in the United States. These individuals may assume fraudulent identities to enter the country, seeking to blend into communities inside the United States.
ICE HSI has more than 200 active investigations and is pursuing over 1,400 leads and removal cases involving suspects from approximately 95 different countries. These cases are predominantly focused on Central and South America, Haiti, the former Yugoslavia and Africa. They represent cases in various stages of investigation, prosecution or removal proceedings.
The Chicago HSI office has a "No Safe Haven" mailbox where the public can report information on suspected human rights violators living in the United States. Information can be provided anonymously for those who wish to conceal their identities. The mailbox address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Members of the public can also report suspected violations to the ICE 24-hour hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE.