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Hotel Rwanda Hero Kidnapped by the Rwandan Government to Face a Corrupt Trial.

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#FreeRusesabagina

The Case

Paul Rusesabagina is an internationally beloved humanitarian hero. His incredible story of saving 1,268 people by providing them shelter at the Hôtel des Milles Collines during the Rwandan Genocide was depicted in the Oscar-nominated film Hotel Rwanda. Since the genocide, Paul has been a tireless advocate for human rights, freedom, and democracy across the world. He has won numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the United States – the nation’s highest civilian honor. He speaks out against authoritarian tactics and fights for global justice, even in the face of threats to his life. In particular, he is a frequent critic of the political abuses and human rights violations of the post-genocide Rwandan government under President Paul Kagame, who has been in power for two decades.

In late August 2020, Paul was traveling to deliver a speech on human rights in Burundi. While transiting in Dubai, he was taken to a private jet, restrained, and forcibly disappeared to Rwanda. Paul was abducted by his birth country’s government because he dared to speak up against its iron-fisted rule. He could not contact his family for 10 days, was forced to use government-appointed lawyers for over 40 days, and is still not allowed to be represented by his international lawyers. He has been denied medical bail, despite chronic health conditions associated with remission from cancer and hypertension. The New York Times wrote that he appears to be speaking under duress during interviews, unable to explain details of his circumstances out of fear of punishment.

Paul’s kidnapping, restricted legal advice, and treatment are blatantly illegal under international law. He faces an unfair trial against a government that has already publicly asserted his guilt. This has triggered an outcry by nonprofits and NGOs around the world, from the American Bar Association to the Clooney Foundation for Justice, and from the Red Cross to Amnesty International. What Paul needs most now is financial support for legal fees as his team fights to free him. He did not profit from the film Hotel Rwanda and his legal defense costs are extremely expensive.

Your Donation

Funds donated will be directed to the Paul Rusesabagina Legal Defense Fund and will fund legal expenses for Paul and security measures for his family, who have been subject to credible threats.

Rwanda: Paul Rusesabagina must be guaranteed a fair trial As the Rwandan National Public Prosecution Authority examines the case file of Paul Rusesabagina, a political opponent best known... Read More Rwanda: Rusesabagina Was Forcibly Disappeared (Nairobi) – The government of Rwanda’s arrest of a prominent critic of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front amounted to an enforced disappearance... Read More How a Savior of Rwanda, Paul Rusesabagina, Became Its Captive Paul Rusesabagina went from the world's most famous Rwandan to a prisoner of his political nemesis... Read More
  • 28 August 2020

    Abducted From Dubai And Forcibly Taken To Rwanda

    Paul Rusesabagina was kidnapped in Dubai while traveling to speak to church groups in Burundi. He was not extradited, the UAE and Belgium were not involved. He was forcibly disappeared and taken on a private charter to Rwanda. During those days, he was blindfolded, handcuffed, and had his legs tied. Paul’s team believed that he was tortured during these days. Based on pictures in the press and his behavior in subsequent appearances, they fear that the torture and other maltreatment has continued.

  • 31 August 2020

    Initial Detention & Contact Deprivation

    Rusesabagina was held in a jail in Kigali and deprived of any contact with his family for 10 days, except for media visits, which were all monitored heavily by Rwandan authorities.

  • 4 September 2020

    Denied Access To Lawyers

    Rwandan authorities force Rusesabagina to use government-appointed representation.

  • 7 September 2020

    First International Complaint Placed

    Urgent complaint filed to UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. Read the complaint.

  • 10 September 2020

    Human Rights Watch Issues Statement On Rusesabagina Kidnapping

    Read the statement.

  • 14 September 2020

    Amnesty International Issues Report On Rusesabagina’s Detention

    Read the report.

  • 16 September 2020

    Organizations Pledge to Monitor Trial

    The Clooney Foundation for Justice and and the American Bar Association pledge to monitor Paul’s trial. Read the pledge.

  • 17 September 2020

    Denied Medical Bail And Sentenced To Further Detention

    Despite chronic medical condititions, Rusesabagina is required to remain in detention and is disallowed from seeking adequate medical help.

  • 18 September 2020

    New York Times Releases Expose

    “How The Hero Of Hotel Rwanda Fell Into A Vengeful Strongman’s Trap” is published in the New York Times, detailing the duress Rusesabagina has been placed under in participating in interviews. Read the article.

  • 1 October 2020

    Family and Legal Team Hold Press Conference

    Rusesabagina’s family and legal team briefs the media and supporters on updates, joined by former congressman Patrick Kennedy.

  • 27 October 2020

    Complaint Filed To The East African Court Of Justice

    The complaint details the illegal kidnapping of Rusesabagina and the unjust proceedings surrounding his trial, asking for his immediate release.

  • 20 November 2020

    Paul Appeals Extension of Detention

    Paul is appealing the 30-day extension of his detention. He appeared before the Nyarugenge Intermediate Court today, virtually, to request an extension to be able to meet in person with his lawyer to discuss his case. This extension was granted until Friday 27 November, 9am.

  • 3 December 2020

    Trial Date Set for Paul in 2021

    Paul’s trial date has been set for January 26th. Once we reach trial, we anticipate legal costs to increase to above $10,000 per week. Moreover, Paul’s health continues to deteriorate and the need is greater than ever to get him out of jail soon. He suffers from hypertension, and in addition to rising blood pressure he has complained regularly in recent weeks of dizziness and headaches. Donations are urgently needed.

  • 20 December 2020

    Fundraising Concert

    A fundraising concert, ‘Giving A Voice To The Voiceless’, is held to raise funds for Paul.

  • 23 December 2020

    TIME Magazine Publishes Story on Paul

    ‘Diplomats, Family Push for Release of Detained ‘Hotel Rwanda’ Hero’ is published in TIME Magazine. Read the article here.

  • 4 January 2021

    LA Times Publishes Op-Ed about Paul's Arrest

    ‘Rwanda’s disturbing arrest of the hero of Hotel Rwanda’ is published in the Los Angeles Times. Read the article here.

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