Tags: state department | hotel rwanda | paul rusesabagina | kigali | rwanda

State Department Speaks Out on 'Hotel Rwanda' Controversy

rusesabagina in a blue disposable mask and reading glasses standing in a courtroom
"Hotel Rwanda" hero Paul Rusesabagina appears at the Kicukiro Primary court in Kigali, Rwanda, on September 17, 2020. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

By Monday, 01 March 2021 06:16 AM Current | Bio | Archive

A week after Newsmax raised the issue at the White House, the State Department has used its strongest language yet about the Rwandan government’s seizure and ongoing trial of “Hotel Rwanda” hero Paul Rusesabagina.

Voicing concerns about reports of the failing health of Rusesabagina, a State Department spokesperson told us that “the Department of State and our Embassy in Kigali continue to urge the Rwandan government to provide humane treatment, respect the rule of law, and provide a fair and transparent legal process, including access to legal counsel of his choosing, for Mr. Rusesabagina.”

Rusesabagina’s health has been of “extreme concern” to his family, according to his daughter Anaise.

“Dad recently informed the U.S. Embassy in Kigali that he thinks he will die from a stroke and is in grave fear for his life,” she told Newsmax.

Obviously aware of this, the State Department spokesperson confirmed to Newsmax that “a U.S. Embassy official in Kigali has visited Mr. Rusesabagina and spoken to him on the phone on several occasions to inquire about his condition and to relay relevant information to his family at his request.”

He went on to call upon the government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame to “provide adequate medical care and facilitate coordination between Mr. Rusesabagina’s personal physicians and Rwandan medical officials as appropriate.”

Rusesabagina, 66, a citizen of Belgium and permanent legal resident in the U.S., was in Dubai on Sept. 14, 2020, and was then transported by private plane — against his will, his family insists — to Rwanda's capital of Kigali. Imprisoned and charged with thirteen counts, including treason and murder, he is now the center of a trial that the world is increasingly watching.

Regarding questions about the legal status of his seizure and trial, the State Department spokesperson said “[w]e continue to underscore to the Rwandan government that the legal process adjudicating the Government of Rwanda’s charges against Mr. Rusesabagina must be fair and transparent, respect the rule of law, and be consistent with Rwanda’s international human rights obligations and commitments.”

The Department of State left little doubt that the trial in Rwanda was very much on its screen. As its spokesperson told us “we will continue to follow this case closely and advocate for legal proceedings against Mr. Rusesabagina to be fair and transparent, consistent with our strong global commitment to the rule of law.”

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

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John-Gizzi
A week after Newsmax raised the issue at the White House, the State Department has used its strongest language yet about the Rwandan government's seizure and ongoing trial of "Hotel Rwanda" hero Paul Rusesabagina. Voicing concerns about reports of the failing health of...
state department, hotel rwanda, paul rusesabagina, kigali, rwanda
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2021-16-01
Monday, 01 March 2021 06:16 AM
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