The Rusesabagina Family and Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation Thank Congresswoman Maloney for her courage and dedication to human rights

By, Alyson Chadwick

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) showed great courage and a commitment to human rights when she wrote Rwandan President Paul Kagame and urged him to release Hotel Rwanda hero Paul Rusesabagina. In her letter, Maloney stressed what the Rusesabagina family and Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation have said all along; that he was kidnapped and taken to Rwanda, where he was arrested and detained. He never would have gotten on the Gain Jet plane had he known its real destination was Kigali and not Burundi.

Mahoney further states that when Kagame took Rusesabagina against his will, Kagame violated international and United States law. She underscored that by resorting to clandestine methods, he ignored all legal processes used to extradite suspected criminals from another nation. There is a process that provides basic protections to people in the United States while allowing people who have been accused of crimes to be sent back to the country that wants to prosecute. The United States has deported four people to Rwanda over the course of the last 20 years. Additionally, four others are currently in American prisons and will be sent back to Rwanda once they have completed their sentences. If Kagame had credible evidence, he would have gone through the normal process as he had with other cases. This alone is reason to let Rusesabagina go.

Rusesabagina said in open court that he was tortured after he was taken. He was bound and blindfolded on the GainJet plane and held incommunicado for several days. Furthermore, he is a cancer survivor who has several health problems such as hypertension, and other cardiovascular problems. The Rwandan prison where he is being held has been reported as being one of the worst places for Covid-19. Rusesabagina has been taken to the hospital a few times. Despite this, he has been denied access to the medicine he needs. Maloney underscores the humanitarian reasons to release Rusesabagina.

Rusesabagina is a human rights activist. His bravery saved 1,268 people during the Rwandan genocide. In 2005, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He is not someone who deserves to be treated this way.

By sending Kagame this letter, Congresswoman Maloney stressed the importance of due process, the rule of law, and the United States commitment to human rights. She let Kagame know that Rusesabagina has the full support of the United States government. She should be thanked and applauded for her courage, resolve, and commitment to helping people like Rusesabagina who is a permanent United States resident.

#FreeRusesabagina is fighting for the freedom of the international humanitarian activist Paul Rusesabagina.