Paul Rusesabagina, whose story inspired the movie "Hotel Rwanda" and who became a fierce critical against the regime of President Paul Kagame, was found guilty on Monday for "terrorism", at the end of a trial that has been rated as "politician "For his supporters.
"He founded a terrorist organization and contributed economically to terrorist activities," said Judge Beatrice Mukamurenzi on the case of Rusesabagin for his alleged support for the National Liberation Front (FLN), a rebel group accused of carrying out deadly attacks in 2018 and 2019 in the African country. The court has to announce even the conviction that corresponds to him.
They had asked for a perpetual chain against Rusesabagina, 67, who became famous for the movie "Hotel Rwanda", released in 2004, in which it is reported how this moderate Hutu saved more than a thousand people during the 1994 genocide that left 800,000 Dead, mainly Tutsis.
After being detained in controversial conditions in Kigali, in August 2020, this virulent opponent of Kagame was tried together with 20 people, from February to July, by nine charges, among them, that of terrorism.
Rusesabagin participated in the 2017 Foundation of the Rwanda Movement for diplomatic change (MRCD), which FLN is considered as the armed arm, but has always denied any involvement in these attacks.
Neither the accused, who may appeal, nor his lawyers were present when the verdict was read. He studied the hearings since March, when reporting a "political" process made possible by the kidnapping of him organized by the Rwandan authorities, as well as the varatic detention during him.
His family and supporters have always denounced this judgment as "a show mounted by the Rwanda government to silence a critic and cool any future dissent."
The United States, which granted RUSSESabagin the presidential medal of freedom in 2005, the European Parliament and Belgium have expressed concern about the legitimacy of the trial.
This process "has nothing to do with the film or its celebrity status," but "it is about the lives of the Rwandans lost by their actions and by the organizations that it belonged or directed," Kagame said.
Rusesabgina, fervent opponent of Kagame for 20 years, accuses the Rwandan authoritarian president and to promote antihutu feeling.
Since 1996, he lived in exile in the United States and Belgium, where he obtained the nationality of this European country, before being arrested in Kigali in 2020 when he traveled to Burundi by plane.
The Government of Rwanda admitted to "facilitated the trip" to Kigali, but affirmed that the arrest was "legal" and that "their rights were never raped."
In the trial, which lasted five months, contradictory testimonies have been seen on their role.
A spokesman for the FLN declared that Rusesabgina "had not given orders to the fighters" of this rebel group. Another defendant affirmed that he did come from the exdirector of the hotel.
His notoriety in Hollywood aroused criticism. Some survivors of the Mille Collines hotel reproach you in particular that he takes advantage of him and even highlighting his role in the rescue of more than a thousand people.
Likewise, he had used his fame to give world resonance to his increasingly virulent positions against Kagame, which unleashed attacks from the supporters of the regime.Updated Date: 21 September 2021, 00:45