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Tags: rusesabagina | hotel rwanda | eu | sanctions

US Condemns Trial, Conviction of 'Hotel Rwanda' Figure

US Condemns Trial, Conviction of 'Hotel Rwanda' Figure
"Hotel Rwanda" hero Paul Rusesabagina in the pink inmate's uniform at Nyarugenge Court of Justice in Kigali, Rwanda, on Oct. 2, 2020, surrounded by guards of Rwanda Correctional Service. (Simon Wohlfahrt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Gizzi By Thursday, 16 December 2021 02:13 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In no uncertain terms, the U.S. State Department on Wednesday condemned the trial and conviction in Rwanda of Paul Rusesabagina — famed worldwide from the Oscar-nominated movie "Hotel Rwanda" as the savior of 1,268 fellow countrymen during the genocide that rocked the African nation in 1994.

"The United States is concerned by Rwanda’s conviction of Paul Rusesabagina," a State Department spokesman told Newsmax Wednesday evening, referring to his trial on charges of terrorism and a 25-year prison sentence he received in September.

The spokesman specifically said that "the lack of fair trial guarantees calls into question the fairness of the verdict."

In terms that suggested the U.S. favored a retrial for Rusesabagina, the spokesman called on "the Rwandan government to address the shortcomings in procedural protections in this case and prevent similar outcomes in the future."

The U.S. and many European Union member-nations were slow to denounce the internationally watched trial and verdict two months ago. This, Rwanda experts agree, was due to the friendly relations the U.S. and other nations have with Rwandan President Paul Kagame — a sworn enemy of Rusesabagina.

But in the wake of worldwide opinion against the seizure of the "Hotel Rwanda" figure in Burundi last year and the resulting trial, this is starting to change. 

A British All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has recommended that the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson apply sanctions to two individuals involved in the arrest, imprisonment, and alleged torture of Rusesabagina: former Rwandan Justice Minister Johnston Busingye, whose office was responsible for the forcible arrest of Rusesabagina in Dubai on Sept. 14, 2020, and then transporting him to the Rwandan capital of Kigali for trial, and Colonel Jeannot Ruhunga, head of the Rwanda Investigating Bureau (RIB).

The possible sanctions against Busingye could raise fresh controversy, since he was recently named ambassador to the United Kingdom.

The Italian National Bar has also weighed in against the Rusesabagina trial and its outcome.

Most recently, U.S. businessman Bill Browder, considered the father of Magnitsky sanctions (those targeted against individuals for alleged crimes), weighed in for Rusesabagina.

"You can’t just out your enemies," Browder told reporters in London, denouncing the Rusesabagina affair as "a true and despicable violation of international law."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
In no uncertain terms, the U.S. State Department on Wednesday condemned the trial and conviction in Rwanda of Paul Rusesabagina — famed worldwide from the Oscar-nominated movie "Hotel Rwanda" as...
rusesabagina, hotel rwanda, eu, sanctions
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2021-13-16
Thursday, 16 December 2021 02:13 PM
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