• World - Africa
  • Updated: March 13, 2023

President Kagame Speaks On Resolving Detention Of 'Hotel Rwanda' Hero

President Kagame Speaks On Resolving Detention Of 'Hotel Rwa

Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Monday said there were discussions about "resolving" the fate of Paul Rusesabagina, who was portrayed as a hero in the Hollywood film "Hotel Rwanda" and is 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 "wrongly 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 don't get stuck with our past. We move into the future," Kagame said in a statement at the Global Security Forum.

"So there is discussion, we are looking at all possible ways of resolving that issue without compromising the most fundamental aspects of that case."

Rusesabagina was celebrated around the world after his role in the 2004 film "Hotel Rwanda" which was played by actor Don Cheadle.

During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, he was portrayed as a hero who risked his life as the manager of a luxury hotel to shelter hundreds of people.

Rusesabagina, a vocal opponent of Kagame, acknowledged leading the opposition group but denied responsibility for attacks carried out by its armed wing. According to the trial judges, the two were indistinguishable.

According to rights groups, Rusesabagina's imprisonment 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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