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Bringing justice to victims of international crimes

Laurent Semanza

Sentenced on May 20, 2005 to 35 years in prison by the ICTR Appeals Chamber

Laurent Semanza was born in 1944 in the Musasa commune of the Kigali-rural prefecture in Rwanda. He was mayor of the Bicumbi commune for more than 20 years, up until his replacement in 1993. In addition, Laurent Semanza was a member of the MRND (National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development). In particular, he was the representative of this party at the National Assembly.

Between 1991 and 1994, Laurent Semanza presided over meetings during which he reportedly incited people into committing, planning and organising massacres against the Tutsi civilian population. Throughout the month of April 1994, Laurent Semanza allegedly organised, ordered and carried out attacks against Tutsis. These attacks led to executions, acts of torture and rape and he personally was said to have taken part in some of these acts. More specifically, Laurent Semanza was considered to be responsible for the crimes which were committed on or about 10 April 1994 in the Ruhanga church in Gikoro commune, in the Musha church in Gikoro commune between the 9 and 13 April 1994, on the hillside above Mwulire in Bicumbi commune between 7 and 20 April 1994 and finally on or about 12 April 1994 at the Mabare mosque in Bicumbi commune.

On or about 26 March 1996, Laurent Semanza was arrested in Cameroon as a result of an international arrest warrant issued by the Attorney General of Rwanda.

Trial Watch would like to remind its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Fact sheet

Rwanda 1944 Mayor, member of the MRND Arusha (Tanzania) 01.04.1994  - 31.04.1994 16.10.1997  - 15.12.2004
War crimes
Crimes against humanity
Deprivation of life
Infringment of physical integrity
Protection of civilians



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