“Hotel Rwanda” Hero’s Family Files $ 400 Million Case Against Kigali – The Citizen

The family of Rwanda hotels Hero Paul Rusesabagina announced on Saturday that he has filed a $ 400 million lawsuit in the United States for his alleged kidnapping and torture.

Rusesabagina is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence on terrorism charges after a trial his supporters say was a sham and fraught with irregularities.

“The complaint alleges that the government of Rwanda and senior Rwandan officials conspired to facilitate and execute an elaborate plot to lure Paul Rusesabagina from his home in Texas in Rwanda, where he would be tortured and illegally detained for the rest of his life. and his lawyers said in a statement.

A copy of the lawsuit seen by the AFP indicates it was filed in a Washington DC court on February 22. It was notified to the Rwandan government on 8 March.

Rusesabagina’s family and lawyers will hold a press conference in Washington on Wednesday to announce further details of the lawsuit, which is asking for at least $ 400 million (€ 380 million) in compensation and punitive damages.

The lawsuit names the government of Rwanda, President Paul Kagame and other figures including the former justice minister and chief of intelligence.

Rusesabagina, then a Kigali hotel manager, is credited with saving hundreds of lives during the 1994 genocide and his actions inspired the Hollywood film. Rwanda hotels.

He used his fame to denounce Kagame as a dictator and has been behind bars since his arrest in August 2020, when a plane he believed was headed for Burundi landed in Kigali instead.

The family statement claims that Rusesabagina, who has a US green card in addition to Belgian citizenship, was tricked into traveling from his home in the US with the promise of work in Burundi.

“Instead, he was drugged and taken to Rwanda where President Paul Kagame’s security officers forcibly kidnapped, tortured and forced him into illegal detention.”

The government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rusesabagina was sentenced in September for involvement in a rebel group accused of deadly attacks with firearms, grenades and arson in Rwanda in 2018 and 2019.

His 25-year prison sentence was upheld by the Rwanda Court of Appeals earlier this month, a sentence his family says is effectively a death sentence for the ailing 67-year-old.