Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager who saved more than a thousand people during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, was arrested on suspicion of terrorism. Possibly his arrest is politically motivated.
“Rusesabagina has said many times that the government of Rwanda is conducting a smear campaign against him,” says correspondent Elles van Gelder. “He would be a political target, because of his fierce criticism of President Paul Kagame’s regime. He’s been doing it for years. That certainly cannot be ruled out in this case. The regime is known for gagging critics and imprisoning them. That happens all the time.”
In 1994, as manager of the Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali, Rusesabagina managed to rescue almost 1300 Tutsi and moderate Hutus from the hands of murderous militias. In 2004, his actions were filmed in the film Hotel Rwanda, which was nominated for several Oscars.
The video below explains what happened during the genocide in Rwanda:
Rusesabagina is suspected by the Rwandan government of arson, kidnapping and murder. He has been the subject of an international arrest warrant for several years. Two years ago he and his party Mouvement Rwandais pour le Changement Démocratique (MRCD) were said to have committed attacks in southwest Rwanda.
Rusesabagina calls President Kagame a dictator who has had opposition members killed and activists arrested and tortured.
Medal of Freedom
According to the police, Rusesabagina was arrested abroad, but where exactly was not disclosed. Sources tell the Belgian site Knack that it might be Dubai.
After the genocide he fled to Belgium, according to Knack. He is now said to have Belgian nationality and lives alternately in Uccle and in Texas in the United States.
In 2005 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest distinction for a foreigner in the United States, from U.S. President Bush.