Photo by Alex Wong via Getty
‘Hotel Rwanda’ Hero Paul Rusesabagina to Be Released From Prison
Paul Rusesabagina, who became renowned for his heroic portrayal in ‘Hotel Rwanda’, has received a presidential-ordered prison commute and will be released.
Paul Rusesabagina, the former hotel manager who saved over 1,200 Rwandans during the 1994 genocide and who was the inspiration behind the 2004 Hollywood film Hotel Rwanda, will be released from prison on Saturday (March 25th). Following a request for clemency, Rwanda’s government commuted the prison sentence of Paul Rusesabagina, who is now 68.
In 2020, the Rwandan government arrested Rusesabagina in Dubai and later transferred him to Rwanda, where he faced charges of terrorism related to his alleged involvement in a rebel group. Following the charges, the Rwandan court sentenced him to 25 years in prison. His sentencing triggered controversy, with some supporters alleging he had been unfairly targeted. In 2022, Rusesabagina’s family sued the government of Rwanda for $400 million, stating that they had "abducted" and illegally imprisoned him. Following Rusesabagina’s conviction, several people speculated that he had been detained because he had previously criticized Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame’s politics.
During Rwanda’s genocide, Rusesabagina worked as a hotel manager at the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Despite the violence and chaos surrounding him, Rusesabagina used his influence and resources to protect and shelter over 1,200 Tutsi and moderate Hutu refugees from the Hutu extremists carrying out the genocide. Hotel Rwanda was based on Rusesabagina’s experiences during the genocide, and the film's release catapulted him to fame. In the movie, Rusesabagina was portrayed by Hollywood actor Don Cheadle.
According to spokesperson Yolande Makolo, the sentences of 19 others convicted alongside Rusesabagina will also be released.
"Under Rwandan law, commutation of the sentence does not extinguish the underlying conviction," Makolo told Reuters. “Rwanda notes the constructive role of the US government in creating conditions for dialogue on this issue, as well as the facilitation provided by the State of Qatar."
As reported by Reuters, Rwanda’s ministry of justice also stated that the commutation could be revoked if any released prisoners repeated the offenses."If any individual benefiting from early release repeats offenses of a similar nature, the commutation can be revoked, and the remainder of the prison sentence will be served," Rwanda's justice ministry said.
From Your Site Articles
- The Afrofuturist Books That Should Become Movies—and the Actors Who Should Star in Them ›
- 11 Rwandan Artists You Should Be Listening To ›
- Rwandan President Announces Bid for Fourth Term Despite Western Criticism - Okayplayer ›
Related Articles Around the Web