HOTEL RWANDA PAUL: A TASTE OF FREEDOM
“No-one should be under any illusion about what this means, as there is consensus that serious crimes were committed, for which they were convicted.” ~ said Stephanie Nyombayire speaking to BBC
“Under Rwandan law, commutation of sentence does not extinguish the underlying conviction.”
“Rwanda notes the constructive role of the US government in creating conditions for dialogue on this issue, as well as the facilitation provided by the state of Qatar.”
In an announcement which was made my the Rwandian government spokesperson, a confirmation was made that Paul Rusesabagina, a former hotel manager portrayed as a hero in the Hollywood film Hotel Rwanda, is to be released from prison in Kigali.
Its been two years since he was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in Rwanda for Terrorism by the Rwandian courts.
This made many international governments to criticize, Rwanda’s Head of state President Paul Kagame for using his political power to abuse his opponents.
Mr Rusesabagina, 68, is credited with saving some 1,200 people during the 1994 genocide.
In a statement his family informed the BBC,that after hearing the news they felt happy.
“We are pleased to hear the news about Paul’s release. The family is hopeful to reunite with him soon,” said the family members.
Mr Rusesabagina left Rwanda in 1996. His story remained largely unknown for a decade, while he worked as a taxi driver in the Belgian capital, Brussels.
Despite it not having featured in a section of journalist Philip Gourevitch’s 1998 book about the genocide, it was the 2004 Hollywood movie, where he was played by Don Cheadle, that brought him global attention and was nominated in the Oscars.
Rwandan genocide which was a civil war between the Tutsi and Hutis lasted for almost 100 days in April 1994, with more than 800,000 people, mostly from the Tutsi ethnic group, were slaughtered by extremists from the Hutu community.
1,200 people were saved by Mr Rusesabagina from the violence, after they sought shelter in the building which was his Hotel.
Rusesabagina has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former US President George W Bush for his efforts. (source BBC news Africa).