The protagonist of the film R Hotel Rwanda “attempted terrorism in Kigali”. DW

  The protagonist of the film R Hotel Rwanda

Its story inspired the scenario of the film “Hotel Rwanda” during the massacre in Rwanda … a former director of the Hotel des Mills Collins in Kigali, who has become a fierce critic of the rule of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame. On trial for terrorism as a whole. The European Parliament demanded that Paul Rusabagina’s rights be respected during the trial and called for an investigation into the circumstances of his arrest.

Paul Rusabagina during his trial in Kigali on February 17, 2021

Fear of political change

For his part, the United States, which awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, was to conduct a fair trial … but at least, nothing is binding.

For writer and political analyst Boniface Mousavuli specializing in the Great Lakes region, the lack of pressure from the international community on the power of Kigali is one explanation.

There is a kind of silence since the genocide of 1994, on behalf of the international community or in any case because of a desire to silence and not to give approval. In the consciousness of the international community, I believe there is an apprehension that if there is a change in Rwanda, a choice can only be made in a violent and brutal manner. And given the hatred and frustrations inside Rwandan society and historical wounds, there is a kind of fear in supporting the initiative to bring about political change in Rwanda.“He specifies.

In the Rusabagina case, his lawyers accused the Rwandan regime of “kidnapping” him. NGO Human Rights Watch also condemned the “enforced disappearance”.

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European Parliament calls for respecting the rights of Paul Rusebagina during the trial

European Parliament calls for respecting the rights of Paul Rusebagina during the trial

The lines start moving

Paul Roussabina, who became an important voice in Kigali, has been targeted by 13 charges, including terrorism, murder and insurgency financing.

Before the opening of his trial, another important voice of power was also arrested at the beginning of the week. This YouTuber Yvonne Idamange has been arrested for “inciting public disorder”.

Lewis Mudge, director of the NGO Human Rights Watch, Central Africa, acknowledged that when it comes to Rwanda, the international community is often silent, but recognizes that the lines are beginning to shift. “It is true, they have decided to twist their eyes to transgress. But recently, we have noted a change with cases such as the death of singer Kizito Mihigo a year earlier in custody and the case of Paul Rusebagina: we see a greater willingness to condemn these abuses. For example, criticisms recently addressed to Rwanda during the United Nations Human Rights Council. Pour l’expert de human rights watch, “Now it is important that these countries make direct contact with the Rwandan government and insist on concrete action.” The measure, which Lewis Mudge hopes will end human rights violations and violations in Rwanda.


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