Rwanda’s Contradictory Hero Is Free Again – Politics

Paul Rusesabagina helped the threatened Tutsi in the 1990s, and Hollywood made a film out of this story with “Hotel Rwanda”. His fame has apparently saved him from jail.


Bernd Dorries

Paul Rusesabagina was never a silent hero, but now he will have to become one. When the genocide began in Rwanda in 1994 and hundreds of thousands of Tutsi were killed by Hutu, he rescued more than 1,000 Tutsi and hid them in the fashionable “Thousand Hills” hotel, of which he was the manager. Hollywood filmed the heroic story, Rusesabagina was modest at first, but then made his career out of the heroic deed. At first he just told his story, wrote a book and went on lecture tours. He later founded his own party, criticized the president, and wanted to be the head of Rwanda himself, even though he had long been living in the United States. In 2020, Rwanda’s leader Paul Kagame lured him into a trap, letting him board a plane in Dubai that was supposed to take Rusesabagina to Burundi but ended up in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. There he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for supporting terrorism.

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