“Rwanda Hotel” movie hero convicted of terror

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Africa Update

The Rwandan court sentenced Paul Rusesabagina to 25 years in prison for “terrorism.” Paul Rusesabagina was a Hollywood movie about the 1994 genocide. The source of inspiration, he was an outspoken critic of President Paul Kagame.

The National Liberation Front (FLN), which opposes the Kagame government, is accused of launching an attack in Rwanda.

“The court found that as a result of hearing the testimony, evidence was presented… On Monday, Judge Beatrice Mukamurenzi of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, said: “We found a case against Rusesabagina. The accusation with conclusive preliminary evidence is charged with creating and becoming a member of a terrorist organization. ”

“We discovered Rusesabagina’s role in the creation of FLN. He provided funds and purchased secure mobile phones for them to use, which constituted a crime of committing terrorism. Therefore, we found him guilty of terrorist crimes,” she added. His family and the lawyer who oversaw his case stated that Rusesabagina was not given a fair trial.

For critics, the arrest of a Belgian citizen and the recipient of the US President’s Medal of Freedom highlights the accusation that the Kagame government, which won praise for turning the country around after the genocide, actively suppressed opponents at home and abroad. The Rwandan Patriotic Front in Kagame ended the 1994 genocide with military victory, in which about 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed.

Rusesabagina, a divisive figure in his home country, was arrested last year after his daughter was called “kidnapped” by the Rwandan authorities. He originally planned to fly from Dubai to Burundi, but was detained in Kigali.

“My father was kidnapped, tortured, and then forced to face a false trial, all because he dared to call for human rights violations in Rwanda. Rwanda has no fair trial procedures. Without an independent judiciary, our father has no justice. “His daughter Anaïse Kanimba said.

Kagame has Refuse Rusesabagina was “kidnapped” by the authorities: “There was no kidnapping. He came here without any fault. He came here based on what he believes and wants to do.” This month, Kagame said on national radio “This person should receive a fair trial in court, and will receive the fairest trial possible in court. There is nothing shorter than this.”

But Jeffrey Robertson QC, an international human rights lawyer and a trial observation expert at the Clooney Justice Foundation, said: “This is a performance trial, not a fair judicial investigation. The prosecution’s evidence against him has been published but has not been questioned. Given Mr. Rusesabagina’s age and poor health, this harsh sentence is likely to be a death sentence.”

Rusesabagina won international acclaim after the success of the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda, In which he was portrayed by Don Cheadle. In his 2006 autobiography, An ordinary person, He described how he could hide more than 1,200 people in the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali. But critics, including Kagame, questioned his claims.

“This long trial exposed the terrorist activities of the FLN organization led by Russesa Bagina. The evidence against the defendant is indisputable,” said Rwandan government spokesman Yolande Makoro.

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