European Parliament condemns unlawful disappearance, detention of Paul Rusesabagina of ‘Hotel Rwanda’ fame

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The European Parliament issued an announcement earlier in February condemning the enforced disappearance, unlawful rendition and detention of Paul Rusesabagina, the Rwandan human rights defender, authorities critic, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient who sheltered and saved greater than 1,200 lives through the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. His story was later depicted in a extensively acclaimed and Oscar-nomnated movie – Hotel Rwanda.

Rusesabagina was kidnapped by the Rwandan authorities on August 27, 2020, reportedly on the orders of President Paul Kagame, the nation’s authoritarian head of state.

After a honeymoon interval, by which Kagame was extensively seen as a pro-Western chief in a previously war-torn nation, he has emerged in recent times as one other in an extended line of African strongmen who’ve imprisoned and assassinated a variety of journalists, dissidents, political opponents, and main intellectuals. 

Kagame, who has been in energy since 2000, doesn’t tolerate any criticism of his authorities and has charged Rusesabagina with 13 offenses, together with financing terrorism, armed theft, and tried homicide.  

MEPs fear that Rusesabagina rights are being violated and have demanded that the Rwandan authorities enable Rusesabagina to bear a good and public trial, which might undergo an unbiased and neutral tribunal that applies worldwide human rights requirements. European lawmakers have additionally requested that Rusesabagina be granted confidential consultations with a authorized counsel of his selecting, in addition to common and safe contact together with his household.

The Parliament referred to as for the EU to take speedy motion guaranteeing the investigation of the legality of the arrest and trial of Rusesabagina. MEPs additionally demand that Rusesabagina’s rights, as a Belgian citizen, be upheld through the trial course of.