At the beginning of the press conference held on Wednesday (20.04.2022) in Brussels, the audience was able to watch a video of the American actor Don Cheadle, who played Paul Rossabagina on the screen in the film Hotel Rwanda.
Don Cheadle, who says he is proud of his role, noted that he met both Paul Kagame’s family and Paul Rossabagina’s family.
Believing he knew the two men, he asked Paul Kagame to show Paul Rossapgina the same kindness he had shown him.
Roger Rosabagina, who is also in the room, recalls how important it was for his father to be able to return to Belgium to be tried there.
It’s all about his physical and mental health, says Roger Rospagina. “The authorities around the world, whether they are Belgians, Americans, the United Nations, Italians or Spaniards, have proven that the trial was not fair. The support we need is to say to Rwanda: you were not able to hold a trial and immediately release him and return him to his home in Belgium to his family”, Roger Rossabina explained to Deutsche Welle.
For his part, the Belgian lawyer for Paul Rospagina insisted on the conditions of detention and the conduct of his client’s trial, which he considers unfair.
He also evaluated various ongoing actions.
“There is a second file open for the hijacking and we have an invoice from the airline headquarters that was confiscated by the Belgian investigating judge. This invoice shows that the Presidency of the Republic of Rwanda has already paid for it. The Athens-Dubai-Kigali-Athens road. From getting the case dismissed in relation to this issue. And in the US, you have the hijacking file to see if this airline can confirm that all this was done at the request of the Rwandan presidency. And I think all this is now clear”, Refers to Lurquin.
As a reminder, Paul Rossabgina has lived in exile in Belgium and the United States since 1996. He has Belgian citizenship.
Paul Russabjina was sentenced to 25 years in prison for “founding and belonging to” the National Liberation Front, an armed group accused of carrying out deadly attacks in Rwanda in 2018 and 2019.
“Free Rusesabagina” campaign
Rwandan activist Pacific Kabalisa, a survivor of the genocide against the Tutsis, met him several times. He remembers a man full of justice.
“Paul, when you discuss with him, is a person very attached to the values of truth, and respect for human rights. I did not know Paul as a politician, every time we discussed I found him more human than a politician. And when he established his party, when I learned of him, personally, I was disappointed. I, I encouraged him to continue in the humanitarian field, telling him that his message would be much better through humanitarian work than through the political”, Identifies the Rwandan activist.
According to his relatives, Paul Rossapgina, a few weeks ago he was a victim in prison of a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) for which a reliable diagnosis was not made. He also suffers from severe pain in one arm, which raises fears of a “cardiac arrest,” according to his daughter.
This press conference was also an opportunity to talk about the launch of the “Free Rusesabagina” campaign, which now features many Hollywood celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Joaquin Phoenix, to name a few.