Rusesabagina Team Announces Filing of Petition with U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

WASHINGTON – March 30, 2021 – Today, attorney Peter Choharis and the family of illegally extradited and jailed humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina held a virtual press conference to discuss the petition filed with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) on behalf of Paul Rusesabagina.

Mr. Rusesabagina is a prominent humanitarian and political activist who was kidnapped by Rwandan authorities on August 27, 2020, held incommunicado, and has continued to be arbitrarily detained for more than 210 days on false terrorism charges without effective legal assistance or proper medical treatment. The petition was filed by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and the Choharis Law Group.

Peter Choharis said “The Petition establishes that there is no possibility of a free and fair trial in Rwanda. The US and Belgian governments should press for Paul’s immediate release on humanitarian grounds and must not wait for the show trial to end.”

“After the Rwandan court denied our motions challenging its jurisdiction and other due process violations, we needed to bring these violations to the UN body that investigates and reports on unlawful detentions,” said Choharis.   “Filing Petitions with the UNWGAD is standard when trying to gain the release of someone who is being unlawfully detained. For us, a UNWGAD report will alert the international community that Rwanda’s detention of Paul is unlawful and in violation of his human rights–no matter what the Rwandan courts decide.”

In late August, the international human rights icon whose story of saving 1,268 people during the Rwandan Genocide was told in the film Hotel Rwanda, was lured from his home in San Antonio, Texas and flown against his will from Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Kigali, Rwanda.

Here is a statement from RFKHumanRights about the petition.

The press conference can be viewed on the #FreeRusesabagina Facebook page:

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