A Rwandan court establish Paul Rusesabagina, a retired hotel manager who was depicted as a hero in a Hollywood movie about the 1994 genocide, guilty of being a part of a terrorist organisation on Monday.
“They should be found guilty for being part of this terror group – MRCD-FLN,” Beatrice Mukamurenzi, the judge, declared of the 20 defendants, one of whom was Rusesabagina. “They attacked people in their homes, or even in their cars on the road travelling.”
Since Rusesabagina, aged 67 was seized on arrival from Dubai last year after what he characterised as a kidnapping by Rwandan authorities, the news has received a lot of attention.
Rusesabagina is a vocal reviewer of President Paul Kagame, located in the United States, since being depicted as the hero of the 2004 movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’ by actor Don Cheadle. His supporters labelled the trial fraud and indicative of Kagame’s brutal treatment of political foe. He had opposed all of the charges against him.
Cheadle was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance. Rusesabagina used his celebrity to gain attention to what he named human rights violations by Kagame’s government, a Tutsi revolutionist commander who came to power after his troops won Kigali and put an end to the genocide.
Rusesabagina’s trial launched in February, six months after he entered Kigali via Dubai aeroplane. His followers allege he was abducted, but the Rwandan government declares he was misled into flying on a private plane. His arrest, according to Human Rights Watch at the time, amounted to a required disappearance, which is depicted as a severe violation of international law.
Prosecutors had attempted a life sentence for terrorism, arson, kidnapping, and steering an armed rebel group from abroad, among other counts. One of the defendants took sick shortly after the original ruling was declared, emerging in a brief recess that postponed decisions on subsequent charges and penalties.