The man whose heroic actions during the Rwandan genocide were shown in the film Hotel Rwanda has been granted early release from jail. High-ranking Biden administration officials told reporters on Saturday that Paul Rusesabagina had been freed from a prison in Kigali, Rwanda. U.S. Embassy staff members drove him to the home of Qatar’s ambassador.
The government of Rwanda remitted his 25-year terrorist sentence, and he was freed. This man will begin serving his sentence in the year 2021. The United States has been advocating for the release of the 68-year-old U.S. resident and Belgian citizen, and he will return there soon. He is anticipated to go back to his Texas relatives.
Paul Rusesabagina’s release “has brought great joy to his family,” according to a statement released on their behalf. They anticipate seeing him again soon. During the 1994 genocide, Rusesabagina was working as a hotel manager.
Hollywood’s release of the film starring Don Cheadle as him about his efforts to rescue Tutsis hiding in the hotel from Hutu mu*der squads catapulted him to celebrity. More than a thousand people’s lives are said to have been spared thanks to his efforts.
In 2005, President George W. Bush of the United States presented Rusesabagina with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has been a vocal opponent of Rwanda’s current leader, Paul Kagame, and will serve his sentence beginning in 2021. His family believes he was abducted in 2020 when he boarded a flight in Dubai bound for Burundi. The plane made an emergency landing in Rwanda.
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His opposition to Kagame’s government led to his immediate arrest, and he is now on trial for his membership in the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Democracy (MRCD). Although Rusesabagina admits to holding a leadership position inside the organization, he distances himself from the group’s military branch, the Forces for National Liberation. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken brought up the subject with Rwandan President Paul Kagame during a visit to Rwanda last year.
Kagame’s spokeswoman Stephanie Nyombayire said on Twitter, “This is the consequence of a mutual determination to reset the US-Rwanda friendship.” The Qatari government also played a role in the talks to secure Rusesabagina’s release. Also, the sentences of eighteen other inmates who were found guilty at the same time he was have been reduced.