Accessibility links

Breaking News

Family of Rwandan Hotelier Arrested for Terrorism Accuse Government of Kidnapping Him

Paul Rusesabagina appears in front of media at the headquarters of the Rwanda Bureau of investigations building in Kigali, Rwanda, Aug. 31, 2020.

The family of a Rwandan man who has been internationally celebrated for his efforts to save ethnic Tutsis from the 1994 genocide in the country accused authorities Tuesday of kidnapping him, one day after he was arrested on terrorism charges.

The daughter of Paul Rusesabagina, who was arrested in Dubai, wrote on Facebook that her father “was kidnapped and taken by extraordinary rendition to Rwanda.”

Rusesabagina, who was depicted in the film “Hotel Rwanda,” is accused of terrorism, arson, kidnapping and murder, perpetrated against unarmed, innocent Rwandan civilians on Rwandan territory,” according to a statement from the Rwanda Investigation Bureau.

The government did not immediately respond to the family’s accusation that Rusesabagina was kidnapped.

Rusesabagina, an ethnic Hutu, has received multiple human rights awards, including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 for sheltering hundreds of Tutsis at his hotel in 1994.

He was paraded past media in the Rwandan capital of Kigali Monday as he was handcuffed.

Rusesabagina has been living in exile after forming an armed opposition party in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. He is a Belgian citizen who first lived in Belgium after leaving Rwanda in 1996, before moving to the United States.

The Rwandan government did not provide details on how they arrested him and has not said when he will appear in court.

Belgian authorities said they had no information about the circumstances of Rusesabagina’s arrest and said they did not participate in his apprehension.

Facebook Forum