The United States said Thursday it has identified it Hotel Rwanda Pavel Rusesabagin’s hero was “illegally detained” by Kigali, who sentenced him to 25 years in prison.
Rusesabagina, who has permanent residence in the United States and Belgian citizenship, condemned Rwandan President Paul Kagame as a dictator and was convicted by a court on charges of “terrorism.”
“The State Department has considered that Paul Rusesabagin was illegally detained,” a spokesman for the agency said.
“The decision took into account a set of circumstances, in particular the lack of guarantees of a fair trial during its trial,” the statement said.
The appointment requires the State Department, which has previously expressed concern over the case, to work for his release.
Read also: The family of the hero of the “Hotel Rwanda” has filed a lawsuit for $ 400 million against Kigali
Rousseau, who then worked as a hotel manager in Kigali, is credited with saving hundreds of lives during the 1994 genocide, and his actions inspired a Hollywood film. Hotel Rwanda.
He has been in jail since his arrest in August 2020, when the plane, he said, was headed for Burundi, instead landing in Kigali.
His family in a statement expressed hope that the appointment would lead to “increased pressure” from the United States on Rwanda to release him.
“The most important thing is that Rusesabagin’s health is deteriorating, and his family fears that he will die in prison in Rwanda if the United States and others do nothing to free him,” the statement said.
“He is a 67-year-old cancer survivor who appears to have suffered one or more strokes in recent months,” the report said, adding that visitors recently noticed he was experiencing pain in his left arm.
Recently, Rusesabagina’s family filed a $ 400 million lawsuit in the United States against Kagame, the Rwandan government and other figures for alleged abduction and torture.
Rusesabagina was convicted in September of participating in an insurgent group accused of deadly gun attacks, grenades and arson in Rwanda in 2018 and 2019.