LOS ANGELES (April 8, 2022) – The case of Paul Rusesabagina, the real-life hero of the Academy Award-nominated film Hotel Rwanda, who was kidnapped and is now imprisoned in the African country, is once again making headlines as independent observers declare that his trial was unfair and that Paul’s human rights have been violated since he was kidnapped in August 2020.
Don Cheadle, who played Paul in the film, and Terry George, who directed it, will headline a panel addressing these issues and calling for Paul’s immediate release, this coming Wednesday, April 13, at 9 am PT / 12 noon ET / 5 pm GMT+1.
Kerry Kennedy, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights President, will moderate the panel, which will also include members of Paul’s family and legal team and leaders from NGOs who are experts on Paul’s situation and human rights in Rwanda. RFK Human Rights worked on behalf of Paul and his family to prepare a petition before the United Nations.
The recent release of the opinion from the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and a report from the Clooney Foundation for Justice’s TrialWatch initiative leaves no doubt about Paul’s mistreatment by the Rwandan government, the illegal and unfair nature of the “show trial” against him, and the fact that the trial should not have been held under international law.
The TrialWatch report comprehensively analyzes Paul’s trial and the legal violations since his arrest. TrialWatch, working with the American Bar Association, acted as an independent monitor for Paul’s trial. The report concludes that the prosecution violated Paul’s legal and trial rights in numerous ways and that the guilty verdict should not be considered legitimate.
The UN Working Group opinion provides an even more comprehensive analysis of the situation beyond the trial. The UN Working Group held that Paul’s abduction to Kigali was illegal, that he is being arbitrarily detained, and the trial against him should never have gone forward. The Working Group then refers his treatment in detention to the UN Special Rapporteur for Torture. Importantly, the UN then joins calls from around the world for his immediate release from Rwanda.
To register for the panel, please click the link here.
Amy Zelvin Reid, email@example.com