Hotel Rwanda Hero Rusesabagina Convicted for Terrorism ChargesOctober 6, 2021
Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager from Rwanda whose life was depicted in a movie version of his rescue efforts during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, has been convicted on charges of terrorism. The charges stem from an incident in which he helped two fellow Rwandans escape from Kabuga, where many other Rwandan refugees were being held.
Rusesabagina is well-known for saving the lives of 1,200 people by hiding them in his Hotel des Mille Collines during the Rwandan genocide. Don Cheadle was also famously portrayed in “Hotel Rwanda,” a movie that talked about his courage during this period.
The hotel manager was convicted of forming a militia group, helping terrorists, financing terrorist deals and, organization and aiding an escaping criminal. He was acquitted on charges of genocide and complicity with genocide, which had been among the charges brought against him by prosecutors. Paul has been charged with other atrocities such as murder, abduction, and armed robbery.
The decision comes over a year after Rusesabagina was blamed for supporting the Rwandan Movement for the Liberation of Congo, classified as a terrorist group by the United States. The group is responsible for atrocities that occurred in the southern part of the country.
Human rights activists believe that the move to sentence Paul is political. They have made headlines in the New York Times claiming that Paul’s conviction is a move to silence the opposition of President Kagame’s regime, which Paul is a great critic of.
36 US senators have been writing Kagame asking Presiden6 Kagame to release Paul, which he promised he would get a fair trial.
Rusesabagina’s trial began in May 2004. During the court proceedings, he claimed that he was trying to help his countrymen escape from Kabuga during the Rwanda crisis, which involved Hutus killing hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus between April and June 1994.
The four people Rusesabagin helped flee the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) members, which led rebels to fight against those who carried out killings orchestrated by former president Juvénal Habyarimana, who died when his plane was shot.
However, his past came back to haunt him in the form of terrorism charges. Rusesabagina was convicted of transporting two Rwandans into Uganda illegally last year. According to an official with the Rwanda National Congress, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment. His lawyer says that he will appeal.