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Blinken says he raised ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero’s detention with Rwandan leader

Blinken says he raised ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero’s detention with Rwandan leader

CLEMENT UWIRINGIYIMANA U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had raised with Rwanda's president U.S. concerns over the jailing of Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed in the film "Hotel Rwanda" sheltering hundreds of people during the 1994 genocide. Rusesabagina, 67, a U.S. permanent resident, was sentenced last September to 25 years in prison over eight terrorism charges tied to an organization opposed to President Paul Kagame's rule. Rwanda's foreign minister Vincent Biruta said he was convicted lawfully, but Rusesabagina has denied all the charges and refused to take part in a trial that he and his supporters have called a political…
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Blinken raises ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero’s jailing

Blinken raises ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero’s jailing

CLEMENT UWIRINGIYIMANA U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had raised with Rwanda's president U.S. concerns over the jailing of Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed in the film "Hotel Rwanda" sheltering hundreds of people during the 1994 genocide. Rusesabagina, 67, a U.S. permanent resident, was sentenced last September to 25 years in prison over eight terrorism charges tied to an organization opposed to President Paul Kagame's rule. Rwanda's foreign minister Vincent Biruta said he was convicted lawfully, but Rusesabagina has denied all the charges and refused to take part in a trial that he and his supporters have called a political…
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Rwandan court upholds ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero’s 25-year sentence

Rwandan court upholds ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero’s 25-year sentence

CLEMENT UWIRINGIYIMANA A Rwandan appeals court upheld a 25-year jail sentence for Paul Rusesabagina, who was portrayed in the movie "Hotel Rwanda" sheltering hundreds of people during the 1994 genocide, rejecting a bid to extend it to life in prison. Rusesabagina, 67, was convicted in September on eight terrorism charges related to the activities of an organisation opposed to President Paul Kagame's rule, and is being held in a Rwandan prison. He has denied all the charges and refused to take part in the trial, which he and his supporters have denounced as a politically motivated sham. He was not…
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U.S. says ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero Rusesabagina ‘wrongly detained’

U.S. says ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero Rusesabagina ‘wrongly detained’

HUMEYRA PAMUK THE United States has determined that Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed in the film "Hotel Rwanda" sheltering hundreds of people during the African nation's 1994 genocide, has been "wrongfully detained," the State Department said. Rusesabagina, 67, was sentenced last September to 25 years in prison over eight terrorism charges tied to an organization opposed to Rwandan President Paul Kagame's rule. He has denied all the charges and refused to take part in the trial that he and his supporters have called a political sham. "The determination took into account the totality of the circumstances, notably the lack of fair trial…
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Appeal in ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero’s case can proceed without him, judge rules

Appeal in ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero’s case can proceed without him, judge rules

CLEMENT UWIRINGIYIMANA A Rwandan court ruled that an appeal by prosecutors in a case involving Paul Rusesabagina, who was portrayed in the movie 'Hotel Rwanda' sheltering hundreds of people during the 1994 genocide, could proceed in his absence. Rusesabagina, 67, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being found guilty in September of eight terrorism charges related to the activities of an organisation opposed to President Paul Kagame's rule. He refused to take part in his trial, which was denounced by his supporters as a politically motivated sham. Public prosecutors had asked for a life sentence and had announced…
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Prosecutor seeks life sentence for convicted ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero

Prosecutor seeks life sentence for convicted ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero

A Rwandan prosecutor sought a life sentence for Paul Rusesabagina, who was portrayed in the movie "Hotel Rwanda" sheltering hundreds of people during the 1994 genocide, instead of an existing 25-year term. Rusesabagina, 67, was convicted in September on eight terrorism charges related to the activities of an organisation opposed to President Paul Kagame's rule and is being held in a Rwandan prison. He has denied all the charges and refused to take part in the trial, which he and his supporters denounced as a politically motivated sham. He was not in court in Kigali on Monday to hear the…
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‘Hotel Rwanda’ film hero jailed for 25 years

‘Hotel Rwanda’ film hero jailed for 25 years

CLEMENT UWIRIGIYIMANA A Rwandan court has sentenced Paul Rusesabagina, a one-time hotel manager portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood film about the 1994 genocide, to 25 years in prison after he was convicted of terrorism charges. Rusesabagina, 67, who was feted around the world after being portrayed by actor Don Cheadle in the film "Hotel Rwanda", is a vocal critic of President Paul Kagame. He denied all charges and said he was kidnapped from Dubai this year to be put on trial. His supporters called the trial a sham, and proof of Kagame's ruthless treatment of political opponents. "Rusesabagina…
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Rwandan justice minister fired

Rwandan justice minister fired

RWANDA’S President Paul Kagame has removed the justice minister but made him ambassador to Britain amid international scrutiny over the trial of Paul Rusesabagina, the hotelier credited with saving many lives during the 1994 genocide. A government statement gave no reason for the dismissal of Johnston Busingye, who had served as justice minister and attorney general since 2013. Busingye was appointed Rwanda's ambassador to Britain, the statement said. Kagame did not immediately name a new justice minister. Requests for comment to government spokespeople and the presidency office were not answered. Rusesabagina was hailed as hero after he used his connections…
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Rwandan deported from U.S. denies charges

Rwandan deported from U.S. denies charges

CLEMENT UWIRIGIYIMANA A Rwandan woman who was deported by the United States and is facing charges related to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda appeared in court yesterday and denied the charges against her. Speaking in a court in the Rwandan capital, Beatrice Munyenyezi sobbed and said: "It's fake. I wonder why," adding that she was a pregnant teenager during the genocide and did not have the power to do any of the things she stands accused of, such as mounting roadblocks where ethnic Tutsis were then killed. Last month, the 51-year-old woman was flown into Kigali, accompanied by U.S. federal…
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‘No grounds to pursue claims of French role in Rwanda genocide’

‘No grounds to pursue claims of French role in Rwanda genocide’

THERE were no grounds to pursue legal claims that France bore responsibility for enabling the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the French prosecutor's department said yesterday. Rwanda last month published a report in which it said that France was aware that genocide was being prepared in Rwanda ahead of the killings. France's top prosecutor, Remy Heitz, said in a statement that investigations carried out by French authorities could not prove any complicity by French troops in the killings which were orchestrated by the Hutu-led government. Between April and July 1994, some 800,000 people were killed, most from the ethnic Tutsi minority…
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