Paul Rusesabagina, whose heroics during the Rwandan genocide were depicted in the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda, was convicted of terror-related charges Monday in Kigali.
According to the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, Rusesabagina has been sentenced to 25 years in prison “for being part of a terrorist group that conducted raids on Rwanda, claiming lives of civilians, wounding others and looting properties.”
Rusesabagina has been critical of the country’s president Paul Kagame and his government, calling for democratic elections. He has called the trial “a sham,” pulling out of the proceedings in March after being arrested in August 2020.
Human rights organizations have questioned the merits of the case, with the Clooney Foundation for Justice today calling it a “show trial,” and that Rusesabagina’s “conviction lacked sufficient guarantees of fairness required by international and African standards and should not be relied upon.”
Don Cheadle portrayed Rusesabagina in the Terry George-directed movie, which earned three Oscar nominations. It told the true story of Rusesabagina, a manager of the Hotel des Mille Collines, who sheltered more 1,000 Tutsis and others during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
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