Paul Rusesabagina’s children are asking for international support

From Washington to Brussels, the children mobilize for Paul Rusesabagina, the hero of the film Hotel Rwanda, and call for more international support for their father detained in Kigali.

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Paul Rusesabagina, who is known to have saved more than 1,200 people during the genocide, now an opponent, is detained since late August in Kigali. He was charged in mid-September with “terrorism, murder and financing of riots”.

This Friday, 2 October, the Rwandan judiciary is due to rule on a request for bail. His children condemn the rejection of the lawyers they chose for him to defend him. They are asking Belgium, which has granted him citizenship for more than 20 years, to intervene so that he leaves Rwanda.

Appeal to Belgium

“Our father is a Belgian citizen,” recalls Carine Kanimba, daughter of Paul Rusesabagina. The authorities granted him political refugee status and thus agreed to protect him from the persecution he was subjected to in Rwanda. In 1999, he obtained nationality at a time when Rwanda did not tolerate dual citizenship. He therefore became a Belgian and unique Belgian citizen ”.

“We ask the Belgian authorities to protect their citizen and bring him home as soon as possible,” she continues. The Belgian Foreign Minister and the Minister of Justice must explain to us how it is possible that a Belgian citizen is kidnapped and illegally detained by Rwanda and that they do not say anything. We work closely with the embassy in Kigali, but we need them to be more active. We do not even know the conditions under which our father is kept. The Belgian embassy must do more for us ”.

This Thursday, MRCD [Mouvement rwandais pour le changement démocratique], the party of Paul Rusesabagina, also called for his prosecution in Belgium or the United States, but not in Rwanda, and condemned his lawyer’s refusal to enter Rwandan territory.


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