This content was published on Aug 17, 2021 – 08:28
Paul Rusabagina, whose story inspired the movie “Hotel Rwanda” and who is highly critical of President Paul Kagame, will meet his sentence on Friday after being tried for months on “terrorism” charges in a controversy-soaked operation.
The former manager of the Thousand Hills Hotel in Kigali became famous thanks to the 2004 film that told how this moderate Hutu saved the lives of more than 1,000 people during the genocide that killed 800,000 people, mostly ethnic Tutsis, in 1994.
Ruspagina is now 67 years old and was tried in Kigali from February to July, along with 20 other people, for his alleged support of the National Liberation Front, a rebel group accused of carrying out bloody attacks in Rwanda.
In all, he was charged with nine charges, including “terrorism” and the prosecution demanded a life sentence for him.
Resbagina and his lawyers denounced a “political” trial that could be conducted thanks to his “kidnapping”,
Paul Rossabgina has lived in exile since 1996 in the United States and Belgium, and was arrested in August 2020 in special circumstances, when he got off a plane he thought was going to Burundi but landed in Kigali.
The Rwandan authorities said his detention was “lawful” and that his rights were never violated in prison.
For years, Rosabagina has been accused of authoritarianism and of promoting anti-Hutu sentiment. In 2017, he co-founded the Movement for Democratic Change in Rwanda (MRCD), of which the FLN is its military wing.
The accused denies any involvement in the attacks carried out by this group in 2018 and 2019, which left nine people dead.
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