Paul Rusesabagina: Hotel Rwanda film hero arrested


Paul Rusesabagina

image copyrightRIB

image captionPaul Rusesabagina was an opponent of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame

A man who inspired a Hollywood film about the 1994 Rwandan genocide has been arrested for leading “terrorist movements”, officials say.

Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu, became well known after Hotel Rwanda depicted his efforts to save hundreds of Tutsis at his hotel during the genocide.

He later launched an opposition party, which had an armed wing based in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

About 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the genocide.

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Mr Rusesabagina, 66, was paraded by the authorities at a press conference in the capital, Kigali, after he was arrested under an international warrant.

He had been living in exile. The authorities did not say where he was arrested or give any further details about the accusations he faces.

In 2011, he was accused of funding subversion in Rwanda, but no charges were brought.

At the time, Mr Rusesabagina denied any wrongdoing and said there was a smear campaign against him.

The 2004 film Hotel Rwanda told the story of how Mr Rusesabagina, a middle-class Hutu married to a Tutsi, used his influence – and bribes – to convince military officials to secure a safe escape for an estimated 1,200 people who sought shelter at the Mille Collines Hotel in Kigali.

Rwandan genocide survivors’ group Ibuka has in the past said that he exaggerated his own role in helping hotel refugees escape the 100-day slaughter.

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