A Rwandan court on Tuesday accepted a prosecution appeal seeking a harsher sentence for Paul Rousseff, who promoted the film “Hotel Rwanda” last September after serving 25 years in prison for terrorism offenses.
The Kigali Court of Appeal will begin the hearing on Friday, despite the refusal of Russebakina and his family to attend.
“Warden of the Nyarugenge Prison [onde o antigo diretor do hotel está detido] He must legally inform the prisoners of his appearance in court, and he has done so, but Rusebakina has deliberately refused to appear, so he will proceed without his presence, “the judge said.
Last week, Russabakina’s family criticized the prosecution’s appeal, calling the culprit a “political prisoner” and urging the international community to press the Rwandan government to release him.
On September 20, the Supreme Court Chamber for International and Transnational Crimes in Kigali found that Russabakina had sponsored the formation of the National Liberation Front (FLN), the armed wing of the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), the armed wing of his party.
The former manager, who is a Belgian citizen and holds permanent residency in the United States, has been detained in Rwanda since August 2020, when the plane that allegedly took him to neighboring Burundi landed in Kigali.
Although the Rwandan government says his arrest was made legally, his family and their lawyers say he was “abducted, disappeared and extraordinarily abducted from Dubai to Rwanda.”
Amnesty International (AI) has condemned the “numerous violations” committed during the investigation, including “detaining him on false pretenses and illegally transferring him to Rwanda”.
During the events that inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda” (2004) during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Ruszabakina is known worldwide as the manager of the Thousand Hills Hotel in Kigali for saving more than a thousand Tutsis and moderate huts from death. Terry George).
He later became a fierce opponent of President Paul Kagame, who has ruled Rwanda with an iron fist since 2000.
In a video released on YouTube in 2018, Rusesabagina said that “the people of Rwanda can no longer tolerate cruelty and misconduct” and that “unconditional support” for FLN should “bring about change in the country.” Not yet achieved in political ways “.
“As Rwandans, it is important to understand that this is the only way to achieve change,” said the former hotel manager.
In July 2018, five months before the video was released, MRCD spokesman Callixte Nsabimana Sankara announced that his party had already begun fighting to oust President Kagame and that its armed wing was responsible for the killing of two civilians in southwestern Rwanda.
Human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, routinely “threaten” the Rwandan government, control the media and the judiciary, and harass its opponents, with the aim of enforcing “full control of Rwanda’s political space.”
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