Hotel Rwanda hero Paul Rusesabagina who was celebrated for saving 1,200 people has been arrested on terror charges

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Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

Paul Rusesabagina, whose role in saving people from the 1994 genocide was celebrated in the film Hotel Rwanda, has been arrested and is being held in Rwanda on terror charges.

The 66-year old was awarded the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.

The Rwanda Investigation Bureau said Rusesabagina was arrested abroad where he was living in exile and sent back to Rwanda.

He was arrested on an international warrant for forming and leading “terrorist movements” operating in the region, the Bureau said.

Paul Rusesabagina has long been a critic of the Rwandan government. In 2011, he was accused of funding subversion in Rwanda, but no charges were brought. Rusesabagina denied the accusation, labeling it a smear campaign against him.

Paul Rusesabagina appears in front of media at the headquarters of the Rwanda Bureau of investigations building in Kigali, Rwanda, on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. Rusesabagina, who was portrayed in the film "Hotel Rwanda" as a hero who saved the lives of more than 1,200 people from the country's 1994 genocide, and is a well-known critic of President Paul Kagame, has been arrested by the Rwandan government on terror charges, police announced on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.(AP Photo)
Paul Rusesabagina appears in front of media at the headquarters of the Rwanda Bureau of investigations building in Kigali, Rwanda, on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. Rusesabagina, who was portrayed in the film “Hotel Rwanda” as a hero who saved the lives of more than 1,200 people from the country’s 1994 genocide, and is a well-known critic of President Paul Kagame, has been arrested by the Rwandan government on terror charges, police announced on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.(AP Photo)

“The 2004 film Hotel Rwanda told the story of how Mr Rusesabagina, a middle-class Hutu married to a Tutsi, used his influence – and bribes – to convince military officials to secure a safe escape for the estimated 1,200 people who sought shelter at the Mille Collines Hotel in Kigali. Rwandan genocide survivors’ group Ibuka has in the past said that he exaggerated his own role in helping hotel refugees escape the 100-day slaughter in 1994,” the BBC noted.




Simon Ateba

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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