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Rwandan Woman Pleads Not To Be Deported From Canada

Charlotte UmutesiCharlotte Umutesi

Kigali: The French-Canadian Association of Alberta is urging the Canadian federal immigration minister not to deport a woman living in the same province (Edmonton area) who says she will be killed if she returns to Rwanda.

Charlotte Umutesi, 35, fled Rwanda five years ago. She said she left after testifying against the man who killed her family during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.

She claims that in the days after her testimony, the man beat and raped her, and threatened to kill her if she testified again. Few details about the man are available and the case is just becoming public.

Her request for asylum was rejected by Canadian immigration officials in March 2007.

In January, the Canadian federal government lifted a moratorium on deporting people to countries formerly considered insecure — such as Rwanda.

Two weeks ago, an immigration officer told Umutesi she would be sent back to Rwanda.

“I tell her, I say I’m working … I live in Canada [for] five years,” Umutesi told Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News (CBC).

“Now you tell me to [go to] Africa. I’m scared to go there because the group who killed my husband, my family … it’s dangerous.”

Only hope is ministerial review

Umutesi has been living in Edmonton for two years, working as a caregiver for Alberta Health Services. Her only hope to stay in Canada is a ministerial review.

The French-Canadian Association says there is new evidence and is urging a review of her case. Members of the association met with ministerial officials in Ottawa on Tuesday.

“The people she testified against after the genocide in 2005 are still looking for her,” said Denis Perreaux, executive director of the Alberta chapter of the association.

“It’s published in news reports in Rwanda that they are looking for her specifically.”

Perreaux said the political situation in Rwanda is very volatile because of a fall election, so the decision to lift the deportation moratorium doesn’t make sense.

“I don’t understand why we’re sending people back into this cauldron of conflict,” he said.

A spokesman for the immigration minister told CBC News officials cannot comment on individual cases.



1 Jennifer Smith { 03.30.10 at 1:59 am }

this is ridiculous
how can i help?
i thought canada was welcoming to the rest of the world… well maybe when its in the limellight of the olympics but apparently could care less what happens to people who are at risk of murder, people who have spent the last 5 years helping medically the citizens of the country which is now turning their backs on her.
not only is this inhumane it really demonstrates canadas profitable depopulation methodss.
if the immigration minister is big wig enough to send a woman back knowing full well that she will be slaughtered like a pig, he should be able to talk about it. i think its time for a petition.

2 Jervais { 09.28.10 at 8:00 am }

To a Canadian audience,or anybody not familiar with what is happening in Rwanda, Charlotte’s claims sound very true and harrowing! While I don’t dispute the fact that the incidents took place in her life, I doubt if her claims are valid. If any group is enjoying peace and protection as well as lots of privileges in Rwanda, it is Genocide Survivors.
People like Charlotte; victims of the Genocide are enjoying full protection by the current regime at the expense of anybody else.
As a Rwandan myself, it’s impossible that a genocide victim could be so insecure in Rwanda to the level of freeing the country. There are so many organizations, leave alone the government, who fully support people like her.
Most of the people who are not safe in Rwanda now are members of the Hutu community who are collectively persecuted in the name of seeking those who did genocidal acts- like in Charlotte’s case. Or members from the Tutsi community who are now opposed to the current government….
While I sympathize with Charlotte in what happened to her and her family, she should use a different reason as to why she can’t go back to Rwanda, because it doesn’t make sense that she is not safe in Rwanda. If a genocide survivor complains of insecurity while in Rwanda, the government responds very swiftly.

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