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Hotel Rwanda: Kagame looking to resolve Rusesabagina’s detention



Rwandan, Paul Kagame

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said on Monday that talks were underway to “resolve” the fate of Paul Rusesabagina, who was portrayed as a hero in the Hollywood film “Hotel Rwanda” and is currently serving a 25-year sentence in Rwanda on terrorism charges.

Rusesabagina was sentenced in September 2021 for his ties to an anti-Kagame organization. He denied all charges and refused to participate in the trial, which he and his supporters denounced as a political sham.

Washington has designated him as “wrongfully detained,” in part due to a lack of fair trial guarantees. Rusesabagina has permanent residency in the United States.

Kagame has stated that his country will not be bullied over Rusesabagina, but he appeared to suggest on Monday that there was room for compromise.


“We are not bound by our past. As we progress into the future, “During a video interview at the Global Security Forum, Kagame stated.

“So there is discussion, and there is an examination of all possible solutions to that issue without jeopardizing the most fundamental aspects of that case.”

In August, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that he had discussed the trial with Kagame. Rwanda has stated that the trial was legal.

Rusesabagina was feted around the world after being played by actor Don Cheadle in the 2004 film “Hotel Rwanda”. The movie portrayed him as a hero who risked his life to shelter hundreds of people as manager of a luxury hotel during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rusesabagina, a vocal critic of Kagame, acknowledged having a leadership role in the opposition group but denied responsibility for attacks carried out by its armed wing. The trial judges said the two were indistinguishable.


Rights groups say Rusesabagina’s jailing is an example of Kagame using authoritarian tactics to crush political opposition and extend his more than two decades in power, allegations the president denies.

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