The hotel manager who helped save a thousand people by sheltering them during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide has had a terrorism sentence commuted.
Hotel Rwanda inspiration to be released from prison
Paul Rusesabagina, who was portrayed as a hero in the Hollywood film Hotel Rwanda and is serving a 25-year sentence on terrorism charges, will be released after his term was commuted, Rwanda’s government spokesperson says.
Friday’s announcement of his Saturday release follows intense diplomacy by the United States, where Rusesabagina has permanent residency rights. Historically close ties between the two countries have been strained over the case, and Rwanda’s alleged meddling in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rusesabagina was sentenced in September 2021 over his ties to an organisation opposed to Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s rule. He denied all the charges and refused to take part in the trial that he and his supporters called a political sham.
Washington designated him as “wrongly detained”, partly because of what it called the lack of fair trial guarantees.