Lawyers fear for the life of manager ‘Hotel Rwanda’

The lawyers of the Rwandan lifesaver Paul Rusesabagina filed a complaint with the Special Rapporteur on torture of the United Nations. They are afraid that their client will be tortured and may not even be alive.

Rusesabagina (66) was arrested abroad last week at the request of Rwanda, presumably in Dubai. His lawyers and family still had contact with him there. Rwandan president Kagame suggested on Sunday that he was flown over to Rwanda in a secret operation.

The lawyers want the UN to start an investigation immediately. They also call on the United Arab Emirates to release all information there is about his stay in Dubai.

Rwanda hotel

Paul Rusesabagina was manager of a hotel in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 1994. In a few months time, Hutu militias killed an estimated 500,000 to 1 million Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Rusesabagina managed to save almost 1300 people from the militias’ hands. In 2004 his actions were filmed in the Hotel Rwanda, nominated for several Oscars.

The warrant for his arrest may have been politically motivated. “Rusesabagina has often said that the government of Rwanda is conducting a smear campaign against him,” correspondent Elles van Gelder said earlier. “He would be a political target, because of his fierce criticism of President Kagame’s regime.”