Release Hero Who Inspired “Hotel Rwanda” From Unjust Arrest

Target: Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda

Goal: Recognize legal rights of human rights icon Paul Rusesabagina.

Paul Rusesabagina, the heroic Rwandan who sheltered nearly 1,300 refugees in the hotel he managed during the nightmarish 1994 Rwandan Genocide, has been arrested by Rwanda’s government on charges of supporting opposition parties. Mr. Rusesabagina was traveling to Dubai when he was detained by the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB). He has gained a reputation in recent years for outspoken criticism of President Paul Kagame’s government, a regime marked by silencing of the press, forced disappearances of opponents, and the suppression of rival political groups.

Since his arrest, Rusesabagina has been held without access to legal counsel, family members, or the press. While this is a clear violation of his rights under international and Rwandan law, it’s not unusual for the government in Kigali, which has often treated opponents in a similar fashion when they intend to place them on trial with little to no evidence.

Paul Rusesabagina is one of the most prominent humanitarians of the 20th century, and Mr. Kagame’s government has no legal or moral basis for treating him this way. Sign the petition below to demand that he be granted his rights to answer the charges leveled against him in a fair trial.


Dear Mr. President,

The arrest of Paul Rusesabagina is a gross violation of ethics and laws accepted in both Rwanda and across the globe. Mr. Rusesabagina is renowned for his heroic actions in defending innocents during the 1994 genocide, and he refused to cease speaking out in favor of justice and democracy after you came to power. Your arrest of him, and denial of legal aid and contact with loved ones, is utterly indefensible. I demand that you release him, allow him to speak to lawyers and family, and offer him the opportunity to answer your charges in a fair trial.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Pennsylvania State University

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