The decision was made ten years after Mr. Teganya arrived in Canada seeking refugee status. The oldest son of a convicted war criminal, he was interning at a Rwandan hospital when almost 200 patients and staff were massacred by militiamen. This incident was one of many that eventually claimed over 800,000 lives in the span of approximately 100 days.
In his appeal for refugee status, Mr. Teganya argued that he was not a participant in the genocide, and that his Hutu ethnicity, the same as the genocide perpetrators, was the only factor that saved him from becoming a victim during the massacre.
Despite these arguments, his first asylum claim was rejected in 2002 on the basis that he had lived with direct knowledge of the atrocities being committed by his countrymen, and as such was complicit. This original decision was challenged in a series of appeals. However, last week his final appeal was denied and he was ordered to return to Rwanda.
Rwandan communities in Canada, many of which lost loved ones during the genocide, largely welcomed the news.
“The community is still looking for justice,” said Alain Ntwali, president of Association Humura, an organization of Rwandan genocide survivors. “We appreciate that action from the government of Canada, which is trying to see justice done.”