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Family of Hotel Rwanda Hero Launches $400m Lawsuit Over His Alleged Abduction

The Guardian

May 2, 2022

Paul Rusesabagina’s family are suing the Rwandan government in the US, accusing it of a plot to abduct, torture and jail him

The family of Hotel Rwanda hero Paul Rusesabagina has filed a $400m lawsuit in the US over his alleged abduction and torture.

Rusesabagina is serving a 25-year prison term on terrorism charges after a trial his supporters say was a sham and riddled with irregularities.

“The complaint alleges that the government of Rwanda and high-ranking Rwandan officials conspired to facilitate and execute an elaborate plot to lure Paul Rusesabagina from his home in Texas to Rwanda, where he would be tortured and illegally detained for the remainder of his life,” the family and his lawyers said in a statement on Saturday.

A copy of the lawsuit seen by AFP indicates that it was filed in a Washington DC court on 22 February. It was served on the Rwandan government on 8 March.

Paul Rusesabagina’s daughters, left to right, Carine Kanimba, Lys Rusesabagina and Anaise Kanimba. ‘They would smear him. This is completely personal. They accused him of being the leader of attacks,’ says Anaise, who briefed the House of Lords on her father’s case.

Rusesabagina’s family and lawyers will hold a press conference in Washington on Wednesday to announce further details of the suit, which is seeking at least $400m in compensation as well as punitive damages.

The lawsuit names the government of Rwanda, its president, Paul Kagame, and other figures including the former justice minister and intelligence chief.

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.

The full article is available from The Guardian.

Cohen Milstein is counsel to Paul Rusesabagina and his family in this FSIA, TVPRA human rights lawsuit.