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The family of opponent Paul Rusesabagina, sentenced to a 25-year prison sentence which he is currently serving, is suing the Rwandan government in the United States, it announced on Saturday (April 30th). According to her, the hero of the film Rwanda Hotel would have been lured into a trap and his trial would only be a sham.
According to the text of the complaint, it was filed by a US law firm on February 22 in federal court in Washington DC and was served on the Rwandan government on March 8. She accuses the State of Rwanda, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a former Minister of Justice, the head of criminal investigations and the head of intelligence of Kigali.
The complaint details years of harassment, threats, slander and surveillance of the opponent, in exile in the United States and Belgium, by the Rwandan government and its agents.
She also tells how, in 2020, Paul Rusesabagina was lured by a man he knew and who had invited him to talk about his experience in 1994 in Burundi during a lecture tour. But it was in Kigali that his plane landed, explains the complaint, which also suggests that he had been drugged so as not to realize the trap he had fallen into. And that once in Rwanda, he was tortured and held in solitary confinement before being tried and sentenced to 25 years in prison for “terrorism”.
Some $400 million claimed
Paul Rusesabagina was made famous by the film “Hotel Rwanda”, released in 2004, which tells how this moderate Hutu who ran the Hotel Mille Collines in Kigali saved more than 1,000 people during the 1994 genocide. Opponent for more than 20 years to Paul Kagame, whom he accused of authoritarianism and of fueling anti-Hutu sentiment, Paul Rusesabagina used his Hollywood fame to give a global echo to his positions.
The plaintiff’s family and lawyers estimate the damage at a total of 400 million dollars, an amount that increases, says the complaint, with each new day of detention.
Paul Rusesabagina’s family and lawyers will hold a press conference on Tuesday to explain.