RWANDA: Detained Hotel Rwanda hero ‘being told what to say’
The family of a man who inspired a Hollywood film about the 1994 genocide say he is being “dictated to by Rwandan authorities” on what to say while in custody.
Paul Rusesabagina was arrested in August under an international warrant. He had been living in exile.
His family allege he was kidnapped in Dubai and taken to Rwanda. The authorities have not said where he was arrested.
He is accused of 13 accounts of terrorism but declined to plead to the charges.
His five children told a virtual press conference on Thursday that he was also denied an independent team of lawyers.
His daughter Anaise Kanimba said they still don’t know how their father ended up in Rwanda.
“And we know that he was tortured to say what they want and have prepared,” she added.
The children asked the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, to free their sick father and called on the Belgian and US governments to intervene.
In court, Mr Rusesabagina, 66, has been assisted by two lawyers from the Rwanda bar association, whom his family say were selected by the government.
A court in the capital, Kigali, will on Friday decide on Mr Rusesabagina’s appeal on bail.
Peter Robinson, one of the lawyers appointed by the family, said that two versions given by the Rwandan authorities on Mr Rusesabagina’s arrest confirm that he was kidnapped.
The Rwandan investigators initially said he was apprehended with international cooperation. Days later President Paul Kagame suggested on state television that he was tricked to Rwanda in a “flawless” operation.
While in police custody, Mr Rusesabagina was quoted by the New York Times as saying that “he boarded a private jet destined for Bujumbura, Burundi” and ended up in Kigali.Article share tools