Hotel Rwanda humanitarian Rusesabagina still wrongly detained by Rwanda 2 years after kidnapping

By: Free Rusesabagina
Paul Rusesbagina, international humanitarian
Paul Rusesbagina, international humanitarian
KIGALI, Rwanda - Aug. 31, 2022 - PRLog -- Two years ago on August 31, 2020, Hotel Rwanda humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina's family and friends found out that he was in Rwanda when they saw a picture of him in handcuffs in Kigali, Rwanda. Paul had disappeared from all contact with his family for four days during what they thought was a trip to Burundi, and they were naturally very concerned. When he turned up in Rwanda, their worst fears were confirmed. Rusesabagina, who saved 1,268 people during the Rwandan Genocide, has been a critic of human rights abuses by the Rwandan government before, during and after the Genocide. His story was told in the movie Hotel Rwanda and his autobiography, An Ordinary Man.

As time went on after his arrest, Paul told the story of his kidnapping and torture. He was forced to sign a false confession and subjected to what international observers call a Show Trial, after which he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Paul is a 68 year old man with a heart condition and a cancer survivor. His family believes he has already had at least one stroke while in prison, and fears he may die there.

Paul had frequent discussions with the people he worked with over time about the possibility that the Rwandan government might capture him one day. One thing was clear in those talks: if Paul were ever captured, his family and friends would need to do everything they can to keep his name in the international press non-stop and to bring his case to the highest halls of power in the US and Europe. If the public pressure ever stopped, Paul would likely disappear or die as too many Rwandan activists and journalists do.

Paul's family and team are exceptionally grateful for both the news coverage and interest in Paul's case from NGOs, political leaders, and governments since his capture. His story has been published in the press more than 2,000 times.

To mark two years of Paul's imprisonment, the following is a timeline: Two year Newsletter of major events from NGOs and governments. This culminated recently with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's trip to Rwanda, where he discussed Paul's case with President Kagame and other government officials. Paul's health is deteriorating, and he is still in prison, but we remain hopeful that we will bring him home with more work and public pressure.

Paul Rusesabagina has now been in jail in Rwanda for more than two years. His sham trial began with his illegal kidnapping in August of 2020 and ended in October of 2021 with a guilty verdict, at which time he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Most of the world has decried the trial process and verdict as completely unfair, in that Mr. Rusesabagina's rights were trampled at every stage from his kidnapping and torture, through the trial itself. His family and human rights groups around the globe have called for his immediate release on humanitarian grounds.


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Kitty Kurth
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Page Updated Last on: Aug 31, 2022
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