The Truth about the Humanitarian and the Dictator False Charges, Kidnapping and the Torture of Paul Rusesabagina

Rwandan President Paul Kagame
  • MRCD (Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change) — founded in 2018, this is a loose affiliation of political parties in the Rwandan diaspora, focused on bringing democracy to Rwanda. Each individual party that is a member of the MRCD coalition has no direct connection to the other parties. Each party has its own leadership and its own directives. Leaders of affiliated parties serve as rotating presidents of this group.
  • PDR-Ihumure (Party Democratic Rwanda) — is the political party founded by Paul Rusesabagina and others in 2006. This is a party focused on bringing democracy to Rwanda. Paul was the President.
  • CNRD (National Council for Renewal and Democracy) — Callixte Nsabimana (aka Sankara), one of defendants in the Rusesabagina trial, was the spokesperson of this party. CNRD is also focused on democracy in Rwanda. This is the political wing of the FLN group. CNRD and FLN joined the MRCD group in 2018 and they left the MRCD group in 2020.
  • FLN (National Liberation Forces) — this group was the armed wing of the CNRD political party. The group was formed in 2016 to act as a self-defense force for Hutus living in refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This group broke off from the FDLR because they did not believe in the FDLR’s mission, which was still focused on Hutu Power. The FLN had various clashes with Rwandan military and militias who regularly invade the DRC to attack Hutu civilians and refugees and took credit for these actions. The FLN have stated repeatedly that they never attacked Rwandan civilians.
  1. There is no MRCD/FLN group. MRCD leadership has no command or control over the FLN group and its actions. FLN activities are planned on their own, with no input from other parties in the MRCD.
  2. Other co-defendants in the trial who identify themselves as affiliated with the FLN are clear that the CNRD is the “political wing” of their party, but that the FLN has no connection to the MRCD. Several had not even heard the name MRCD until they were in prison in Rwanda and told that they were going to be co-defendants in the Rusesabagina trial.
  3. With the exception of Sankara, who has now been in jail since 2019 and whose testimony was very likely coerced in exchange for a shorter sentence, none of the other co-defendants make any connection between Paul Rusesabagina and the FLN in their court testimonies.
  • MRCD and CNRD statements at the time the attacks were made public by the Rwandan government make clear that these groups not only said they did not commit the attacks, but that they believe the Rwandan military itself was responsible for the attacks. These statements asked for an independent investigation, preferably by the United Nations, to determine whether the attacks occurred and who was responsible. The Rwandan government never asked for or allowed such an investigation.
  • No evidence has been presented at trial that these attacks took place or who committed them, except for Rwandan government statements and press reports by the captive Rwandan press at the time. No independent investigators have looked into the attacks.
  • Victims/witnesses brought by the prosecution in the case describe items that were lost in the attacks (a car, a sack of potatoes, etc), but do not describe any details about the attacks, how they were carried out, or who committed them. Two of the “victims” are a mother and her infant child, who appeared in court in February. They claim that they lost their father and husband in these attacks, which allegedly occurred in June of 2018, which is 32 months ago. The infant was just a few months old.
Oprah Winfrey and Paul Rusesabagina, whose heroism in the face of genocide inspired the movie “Hotel Rwanda,” named as recipients of the National Civil Rights Museum’s annual Freedom Awards (2005).

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

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

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