Rwanda has announced the arrest of Paul Rusesabagina – the man whose story was portrayed in ‘Hotel Rwanda’, a Hollywood movie about the country’s 1994 genocide – on terrorism charges.
Rusesabagina was arrested and paraded in front of the media in handcuffs, at the headquarters of Rwanda Investigation Bureau in Kigali, Rwanda.
“Rusesabagina is suspected of being a founder or a leader or sponsor or member of violent armed extremist terror outfits … operating out of various places in the region and abroad,” the bureau’s spokesman, Thierry Murangira, told journalists.
In a Twitter statement on Monday, the Rwanda Investigation Bureau informed that Rusesabagina was arrested through international cooperation.
The Bureau said Rusesabagina is suspected to be the founder, leader, sponsor and member of violent, armed, extremist terror outfits including MRCD and PDR-Ihumure, operating out of various places in the region and abroad.
“He has been subject of an International Arrest Warrant, wanted to answer charges of serious crime including terrorism, arson, kidnap and murder, perpetrated against unarmed, innocent Rwandan civilians on Rwandan territory …including in Nyabimata – Nyaruguru district in June 2018 and in Nyungwe – Nyamagabe district in December 2018
“He is currently detained at Remera Police Station while his case file is being processed in accordance with Rwandan criminal procedure”, the Bureau said.
Rusesabagina was played by Don Cheadle in the Oscar-nominated film ‘Hotel Rwanda’ which told the story of how he used his job as a hotel manager and his connections with the Hutu elite to protect Tutsis fleeing the slaughter.
Rusesabagina is a known critic of President Paul Kagame’s administration, having moved abroad after the genocide and won worldwide acclaim, receiving the United States’ highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2005.
His image in his home country is however controversial, as he has sparked outrage with warnings of another genocide, this time by Tutsis against Hutus. He has drawn criticism from some genocide survivors and Kagame who accused him of exploiting the genocide for commercial gain.