Don Cheadle Announces Drive to Raise Awareness in Effort to Save the Hotel Rwanda's Rusesabagina

Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and NBA coach Doc Rivers participate in the campaign
By: #FreeRusesabagina
LOS ANGELES - April 13, 2022 - PRLog -- Don Cheadle alongside cast members from Hotel Rwanda and Avengers announced today the launch of a limited-edition #FreeRusesabagina T-Shirt to raise awareness for the release of Paul Rusesabagina and funds for his legal defense. The real-life hero of the Academy Award-nominated bio-pic Hotel Rwanda, in which Cheadle starred, Paul is a humanitarian and US Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree known for saving the lives of 1,268 refugees during the Rwandan Genocide. He was kidnapped, arrested, and has been illegally imprisoned by the authoritarian Rwandan regime for nearly 600 days.

A number of Hollywood actors and human rights advocates are joining the call to #FreeRusesabagina and put pressure on Belgium and the US Governments to demand his release. They include Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Sophie Okonedo, Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and NBA coach Doc Rivers.

According to Cheadle, "This past almost 600 days have been nothing but tortuous for Paul and his family. I have met President Kagame and respect many things he has done in Rwanda since the genocide, but Paul shouldn't be in jail. His abduction and subsequent trial are problematic and inconsistent with the practices Rwanda has agreed to abide by. Cheadle went on to note that "Something that I'm not sure anyone is covering is that when real crimes are committed, there is a legal process by which foreign nationals are extradited to be put on trial, and the US has accommodated Rwanda in such requests in the past. The fact that this entire process was circumvented further supports the assertion that there was no legal basis for arresting Paul Rusesabagina."

According to a United Nations report, Paul's only "crime" was exercising his free expression when he criticized the Rwandan regime. A recent legal opinion by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, along with a final report on the trial by the Clooney Foundation for Justice's TrialWatch Initiative done in collaboration with the American Bar Association, provides full details on what they call the human rights violations committed against Rusesabagina, as well as the nearly complete lack of fair trial rights.

Paul's attorneys and family said that the Belgian and US Governments, along with the world, need to act immediately to #FreeRusesabagina. Paul is a 67-year-old in poor health. His family fears that he has suffered one or more strokes recently while in prison and is not receiving any treatment. If he is not brought home soon, this humanitarian who spent his life focused on others may die in prison.

They said that Paul's detainment is a grave injustice, both to him and to leaders everywhere who speak out against authoritarianism, inequality, and abuses of human rights. "Make no mistake: his activism and bravery in seeking peace for Rwandans and all of humanity is the only reason he has been seized," they explained.

For more information about the campaign, to sign the petition calling for immediate release, or to support the campaign by purchasing a #FreeRusesabagina T-Shirt please click here (

The limited-edition collection is made up of shirts in several unisex styles with the powerful slogan #FreeRusesabagina. Prices start from $25.99-to-$42.99 and are available to purchase now on with all proceeds directed to the legal defense fund.

Kitty Kurth
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