ROME – Nov. 17, 2021 – With the support of the National Bar Council, the Rwandan activist and daughter of Paul Rusesabagina, Carine Kanimba, will arrive in Rome to ask for as much support as possible for his cause. Paul Rusesabagina is the hero who inspired the Hollywood film “Hotel Rwanda,” and was arrested more than a year ago and recently sentenced to twenty-five years in prison in a “mock trial”.
Carine Kanimba will be in Rome from tomorrow until November 19th, together with her father’s Belgian lawyer Vincent Lurquin. Together, they will attend a hearing on Thursday, November 18th, in the Chamber of Deputies. They have also been invited by the CNF to join the plenary session on Friday 19 November, to represent the trial and ask for a fair trial and the release of Rusesabagina.
Paul Rusesabagina, 67 year old Rwandan businessman and Belgian citizen, despite being of Hutu ethnicity, saved more than a thousand Tutsis from massacre during the genocide of 1994. He gave them refuge in the Hôtel des Mille Collines, of which he was director, and in so-doing, saved the lives of 1268 people. The account was portrayed in the Oscar-nominated film with Don Cheadle as lead actor.
In Rwanda, public prosecutors have appealed against the sentence of 25 years in prison for terrorism, which they deemed too light compared to the life sentence requested in the indictment. It has been defined by various international human rights organizations as “a political trial” for Rusesabagina’s activities criticizing the authoritarian government of the current president of Rwanda Paul Kagame, conducted in defiance of the rules of a fair trial.
The European Parliament approved a resolution on October 7th 2021, which underlines, among other things, that Paul Rusesabagina was not able to initially choose the lawyers for his defense. Then, his lawyers, since April this year, were prevented from meeting him, in violation of Article 68 of the Rwandan Code of Criminal Procedure as well as of all international conventions.
In addition to the European Parliament, the Federation of Bar Association of Europe (FBE), the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), the governments of Belgium, the United Kingdom and the Department of State of the United States of America have all made statements denouncing irregularities and violations of the rules of fair trial.
Carine Kanimba will meet the Italian press at the headquarters of the National Bar Council (via del Government Vecchio, 3 Rome) on Thursday 18 November from 1pm to 3pm.
Benedetta Giardini – 338 4664331