Rwandan court finds Hotel Rwanda film hero guilty in terrorism case
KIGALI: A Rwandan court on Monday (Sep 20) sentenced Paul Rusesabagina, a one-time hotel manager portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood film about the 1994 genocide, to 25 years in prison after he was convicted of terrorism charges. Rusesabagina, 67, who was feted around the world after being portrayed by
KIGALI: A Rwandan court on Monday (Sep 20) sentenced Paul Rusesabagina, a one-time hotel manager portrayed as a hero in a Hollywood film about the 1994 genocide, to 25 years in prison after he was convicted of terrorism charges.Rusesabagina, 67, who was feted around the world after being portrayed by actor Don Cheadle in the film Hotel Rwanda, is a vocal critic of President Paul Kagame. He denied all charges and said he was kidnapped from Dubai this year to be put on trial. His supporters called the trial a sham, and proof of Kagame's ruthless treatment of political opponents.
"Rusesabagina ... is convicted of being a member of a terror group and participating in terror activities but he is acquitted of creating an illegal armed group," judge Antoine Muhima said.Prosecutors had sought a life sentence for Rusesabagina on nine charges, including terrorism, arson, taking hostages and forming an armed rebel group. He was convicted of eight charges.
Rusesabagina has acknowledged having a leadership role in the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), a group opposed to Kagame's rule, but denied responsibility for violence carried out by its armed wing, the National Liberation Front (FLN). headtopics.com
Twenty other defendants tried with him included Callixte Nsabimana, popularly known as Sankara, a spokesman for the FLN. He told the court Rusesabagina was not a member of the armed wing. But judges said the two groups were indistinguishable, referring to them as the MRCD-FLN. Nsabimana received 20 years.
HOLLYWOOD HERORusesabagina refused to take part in the trial and has not appeared in court after attending the first few hearings in a bright pink prison uniform, face mask and handcuffs.The 2004 film depicted him risking his life to shelter hundreds of people as manager of a luxury hotel in the Rwandan capital Kigali during the 100-day genocide, when Hutu ethnic extremists killed more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Cheadle was nominated for an Oscar and Rusesabagina received the Medal of Freedom - the highest civilian award - from US President George W Bush in 2005.Genocide survivors accused Rusesabagina of using their suffering to make himself look heroic."That film is fiction ... He dramatised his deeds in a film and won awards he did not deserve," Naphtal Ahishakiye, the executive secretary of genocide survivor organisation Ibuka, told Reuters by phone.
Such comments have previously been dismissed as a smear campaign by Rusesabagina's family.POLITICAL CRITICRusesabagina used his fame to highlight what he described as rights violations by the government of Kagame, a Tutsi rebel commander who took power after his forces captured Kigali and halted the genocide. headtopics.com
Rusesabagina’s father was Hutu and his mother and wife were Tutsi. He became a Belgian citizen after the genocide and lived in exile in the United States until last year.In a video posted on YouTube in 2018, Rusesabagina called for armed resistance, saying change could not be achieved by democratic means. The year before, Kagame had won re-election with 99% of the vote.
Rusesabagina's trial began in February, six months after he arrived in Kigali on a flight from Dubai. His supporters say he was kidnapped; the Rwandan government suggested he was tricked into boarding a private plane. Human Rights Watch said his arrest amounted to an enforced disappearance, which it called a serious violation of international law.
Kagame denies accusations of abuse and has enjoyed support from Western donors for restoring stability and boosting economic growth. Rights groups describe the Rusesabagina case as part of a pattern of intimidating Kagame's political opponents."The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) continued to target those perceived as a threat," said a report last year by Human Rights Watch, which also detailed arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and torture.
RWANDANS REACTCarine Kanimba, Rusesabagina's daughter, said the family knew what the verdict would be."He was denied access to his lawyers, international legal team, even his Rwandan lawyers, he has limited access to them and then he was held in solitary confinement for 250 days," she told Reuters. headtopics.com
Rusesabagina's Rwandan lawyer said they would meet him to find out if he wished to appeal. He accused Rwandan authorities of intercepting legal documents and denying him access to an international team.Faustin Nkusi, spokesman of the Rwandan prosecution, insisted the trial was fair.
But Human Rights Watch said there were"multiple violations" of the right to a fair trial and that"Rwanda courts are overpowered by political influence". Read more: CNA »
Covid-19: Vaccinated travel lane scheme extended to 9 more countries including US, UK and France; fewer tests required
SINGAPORE — The vaccinated travel lane scheme will be extended to nine more countries, after its successful implementation with Brunei and Germany, where travellers between Singapore and the two countries need not serve a quarantine order or stay-home notice.
917 new COVID cases, 2 more fatalities reported in SingaporeThe Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (20 September) confirmed 917 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 78,721.
Covid-19: 1,009 new locally transmitted cases; clusters found at Toa Payoh Market & Food Centre, 2 nursing homes and a preschoolSINGAPORE — Singapore on Sunday (Sept 19) recorded 1,009 new locally transmitted cases of Covid-19, with the market and food centre at Toa Payoh Lorong 8, two nursing homes and a preschool added to a list of active clusters under close monitoring.
Netizens Discuss How “Old” Jackie Chan, 67, Looked At The Lensing Ceremony For His Latest Film
Elderly doctor with glaucoma jailed 4 days, fined for colliding with motorcyclist; prosecution appeals against sentenceSINGAPORE — An elderly medical doctor suffering from glaucoma was found guilty by a district court of failing to give way to a motorcycle while making a discretionary right turn at Bukit Batok, which resulted in a collision that left the motorcyclist and his pillion rider severely injured. glaucoma. peripheral vision affected. cataract. obstructive sleep apnea on machine at night - who passed his driving medical?
Singapore reports 910 new local COVID-19 cases; 2 more fatalities take national death toll to 62Singapore reports 910 new local COVID19 cases; national death toll reaches 62 after 2 more fatalities Last 7 days , up up up and hit 1000 , down now . Tuesday will come down to 8xx , Wed to 7xx .... 完成接種疫苗也死掉了 前天死掉一個完成接種的老人家，他是太老了吧？他什麼時候打完第二針也沒說？
Indonesia logs fewest daily COVID-19 cases in more than a yearJAKARTA: Indonesia on Monday (Sep 20) reported 1,932 new daily coronavirus infections, the lowest since August 2020, data from country's COVID-19 task force showed, and the government further eased restrictions in Java and on its