Rwandan authorities arrested Paul Rusesabagina, Hotel Rwanda star, on Monday following alleged accusations of financing terror groups in the country. Although Paul is a Rwandese, he has lived in Belgium, Texas in the United States. His arrest sparked mixed reactions as he was an international hero and an influential politician.
Paul has received numerous awards internationally. In 2005, he received the Presidential Medal of freedom from President George W. Bush. This was after inspiring many through his main role in the prominent film ‘Hotel Rwanda.’ This film inspired many globally, leading to his fame.
What is Hotel Rwanda?
The film is based on the Rwandan genocide, which occurred in 1994. The film documents Rusesabagina’s efforts to save his family and more than a thousand other refugees by providing them with shelter in the besieged Hôtel des Mille Collines.
As the main actor, Rusesabagina portrays bravery as he manages to rescue over 1200 people. However, following investigations, Rwandan police arrested the internationally honored hero. As of now, only the police officers know where he is.
Hotel Rwanda hero arrested.
Police officers arrested the 66-year-old in the country’s capital city and staged him to a press briefing. Rusesabagina, who was in handcuffs, remained silent throughout the press briefing. Meanwhile, journalists who were at the Rwanda Investigations Bureau took pictures of him.
Paul Rusesabagina is a strong opponent and critic of President Kagame’s government. Although the Rwandan police had arrested him, there was also an international arrest warrant on him. The arrest demanded that he clarify the kidnapping, terrorism, murder, and arson accusations the investigation board made. However, Rusesabagina denied the allegations and dismissed the accusations of supporting terrorism in the country. Meanwhile, the Rwandan court is yet to charge him for the allegations.
Thierry Murangira, the bureau’s spokesman, told journalists:
“Authorities suspect Rusesabagina of being a founder, leader, sponsor, and member of violent armed extremist terror outfits. The Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change operates out of various places in the region and abroad.”
He also said Rusesabagina would face several charges. The latter included terrorism, financing terrorism, arson, kidnap and murder of innocent civilians.
After arresting Rusesabagina, the Rwanda Investigation Bureau informed the public that Paul’s arrest was international cooperation. He was already a subject of an international warrant arrest. This was because of the numerous allegations made on him.
In 2010, the prosecutors handling his case revealed evidence tying him to the allegations. However, the court didn’t charge him. Authorities in the country also accused him of taking part in the 2018 attacks in the Rwandan-Burundi border. They claimed he had helped the National Liberation Front rebels.
Paul, whose father is a Hutu while mother and wife Tutsi, has refuted rescuing Tutsis. However, he has not publicly responded to helping the rebels. Over 800000 Hutus died during the slaughter. Rwandan authorities announced that ongoing investigations were hoping to reveal more of Paul’s plots.
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