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‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero ‘wrongfully detained’ — U.S.

He has been behind bars since his arrest in August 2020.

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WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States (US) said Thursday it has determined that “Hotel Rwanda” hero Paul Rusesabagina has been “wrongfully detained” by Kigali, which handed him a 25-year prison term.

Rusesabagina, who holds US permanent residence and Belgian citizenship, has denounced Rwandan President Paul Kagame as a dictator and was sentenced by a court on “terrorism” charges.

“The Department of State has determined Paul Rusesabagina is wrongfully detained,” a spokesperson for the agency said.

“The determination took into account the totality of the circumstances, notably the lack of fair trial guarantees during his trial,” it said.

The designation requires the State Department, which has earlier voiced concern about the case, to work to free him.

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

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