world news ‘Hotel Rwanda’ Hero, Paul Rusesabagina, Is Held on Terrorism Charge

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news net daily :

NAIROBI, Kenya — Paul Rusesabagina, the hotelier whose bravery saved more than 1,200 Rwandans during the 1994 genocide, was arrested on charges including terrorism, arson and murder, the Rwandan authorities said on Monday.

Mr. Rusesabagina was accused of helping to carry out attacks in 2018 “against unarmed, innocent Rwandan civilians on Rwandan territory,” according to a statement posted on Twitter by the Rwanda Investigation Bureau.

The law enforcement agency also said Mr. Rusesabagina was suspected of being “the founder, leader, sponsor and member of violent, armed, extremist terror outfits,” including the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change, an opposition party known as M.R.C.D.

The authorities said Mr. Rusesabagina was the subject of an international arrest but did not specify where he was arrested. They said he was being held at a police station in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. The authorities did not provide any evidence of the charges against Mr. Rusesabagina.

“Those suspected of killing and wreaking terror on Rwandans, those suspected of masterminding, sponsoring or financing terror against Rwandans, will be brought to justice,” Busingye Johnston, the Rwandan minister of justice and attorney general, said in a Twitter post.

Mr. Rusesabagina has in the past been at odds with Rwanda’s political elite and has criticized the government of President Paul Kagame. Mr. Kagame’s government has accused Mr. Rusesabagina of supporting Rwandan rebels attacking the country from abroad.

Mr. Rusesabagina rose to fame after his story was captured in the 2004 film “Hotel Rwanda,” which starred the actor Don Cheadle. During the Rwandan genocide — in which as many as one million ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed — Mr. Rusesabagina, a Hutu who was working as a manager at the Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali, helped shelter more than 1,200 people who were fleeing the violence.

His story helped to publicize the brutality of the genocide and showcased how one man’s actions saved many who were facing death. In 2005, President George W. Bush awarded Mr. Rusesabagina the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with the award citation saying he “demonstrated remarkable courage and compassion in the face of genocidal terror.”

“His life,” the citation said, “reminds us of our moral duty to confront evil in all its forms.”

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