Friday, October 29, 2010

Rwanda / Genocide Rescuers

Hero of 'Hotel Rwanda' is Declared Enemy of the State
By Daniel Howden
The Independent, October 29, 2010
"The man made famous by the film Hotel Rwanda and credited with saving more than 1,200 Tutsis during the 1994 genocide said yesterday that he fears for his life after the country's President made him 'an enemy of the state.' Paul Rusesabagina, a former hotel manager currently living in Brussels where he says his home has been repeatedly ransacked, will be charged in Rwanda with links to a terrorist group. Rwanda's chief prosecutor said this week that Mr. Rusesabagina has been financing commanders in the FDLR, a rebel army across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo made up from ethnic Hutus responsible for the 1994 genocide. Mr. Rusesabagina, who was portrayed by Don Cheadle in the acclaimed 2004 film has denied sending any money to the region and accused the government in Kigali of seeking to silence its critics. 'They are coming after me,' he told The Independent. 'While I'm in Brussels I remain in danger, they're following my every step.'
The winner in 2005 of the highest civil honour in the US, the Presidential Freedom Medal, said he was nearly killed three years ago in a car crash he claims was an attempted assassination. His home in the Belgian capital has been ransacked three times. The latest burglary was last week, during which he says a number of documents in Kinyarwandan, the language spoken primarily in Rwanda, were stolen. Mr. Rusesabagina has been one of the highest-profile critics of the government of Paul Kagame, who was re-elected earlier this year after a campaign marred by the killing of dissidents and a crackdown on opposition groups. His Hotel Rwanda-Rusesabagina Foundation has called for a Truth and Reconciliation process in the country and warned that government oppression could lead to a fresh genocide in the Great Lakes region. 'Rwanda has become a big open prison where Kagame is the chief warden,' said Mr. Rusesabagina. 'There is no free man in that country.' [...]"

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