Daughter profiles Pauline Nyiramasuhuko
Last week's deposition by Pauline Nyiramasuhuko's eldest daughter was, at best, a rare illustration of openness in court. Clarisse Ntahobali, one of seven initial witnesses called by the defence, testified using her own name, although the curtains remained closed to hide her face. She began by helping to sketch out the educational and professional career of her mother, the only woman to be indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
After primary school, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko went to the Karubanda School of social studies, Butare prefecture in southern Rwanda. After completing her training and becoming a social worker, she married Maurice Ntahobali in 1968, one of the few Rwandan university gratuates at the time. Ntahobali went on to become a minister, president of the National Assembly and finally rector of the Rwandan national university (UNR), in Butare. The couple had four children, one of whom, Arsène Shalom Ntahobali, today faces genocide charges alongside his mother. After working in social services for many years, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko decided to enrol in the UNR to study law, in 1986. She was 40 years old. "At the time, it was uncommon for a woman of that age to go to university" her daughter proudly told the court.