“Hotel Rwanda” hero Paul Rusesabagina lawyers Jared Genser and Brian Tronic have filed an urgent appeal to Dr. Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment seeking his intervention to have their client freed.
In their appeal, the lawyers requested Dr. Melzer to take urgent action on behalf of their clients.
“We are writing to request urgent action on behalf of our client, Paul Rusesabagina, a Belgian citizen and U.S. legal permanent resident, who was recently abducted, disappeared, and subjected to an extraordinary rendition from Dubai to Rwanda and is currently being held incommunicado by Rwandan authorities in Kigali,” Reads part of the letter which ChimpReports has a copy.
According to the letter, Rusesabagena had not had any contact with his family, authorized legal counsel, or Belgian diplomats, since Thursday, August 27 when he is said to have disappeared from Dubai adding that the government of Rwanda should be compelled to prove that he is alive.
“The Rwandan Government has not provided proof of life since Monday, August 31, when the authorities in Kigali paraded Mr. Rusesabagina in handcuffs in front of the media,” reads the letter.
“Given these serious human rights violations, and the Rwandan Government’s long-standing prior persecution of Mr. Rusesabagina (described below), he is at immediate and serious risk of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. Moreover, it is not clear what conditions Mr. Rusesabagina is being held in or whether he is being provided the daily medication he requires for his heart condition.”
The letter also requested Dr. Melzer to use his working methods to investigate the situation and immediately reach out to the Government of Rwanda, urging it to provide proof that Mr. Rusesabagina is still alive uphold his physical and mental integrity, and ensure his right to access to family, counsel, the Belgian diplomats, and needed medication, as guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.
A former manager at Hotel Mil Colin Rusesabagina, 66, is accused terrorism, arson, kidnap and murder, perpetrated against unarmed, innocent Rwandan civilians on Rwandan territory that are said to have been condcuted by opposition platform Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD-Ubumwe), of which he was founder, and which has military arms that have attacked Rwandan territory.
Rusesabagina was kidnapped a week ago in Dubai while making a stopover, according to his family, and transferred to Rwanda.
He was a very critical opponent of President Paul Kagame and lived in exile between Belgium and the US, where he created his foundation to promote the reconciliation of Rwanda and prevent further genocides.
Rusesabagina’s work at the Hotel Mil Colinas inspired the movie “Hotel Rwanda” (2004), based on the story of this influential Hutu businessman, married to a Tutsi woman, who managed to protect his facilities from the military and the genociders and saved about 1,200 people.
In 2005, former US President George Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work and heroic deeds.
However, the Ibuka Genocide Victims Association assures that its role as savior in the Rwandan genocide, in which some 800,000 people were killed in just over 100 days, has been exaggerated.
The Prosecutor’s Office accused him in 2010, together with the opposition leader Victoire Ingabire, of financing terrorist activities and armed groups. On these charges, Ingabire, Kagame’s main political enemy, was arrested and sentenced to 13 years in prison, until her release through a presidential pardon in September 2018.