‘Hotel Rwanda’s’ Paul Rusesabagina Sentenced to 25-Year in Prison

In Summary

Credited for sheltering hundreds of Tutsis during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, Paul Rusesabagina was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a Rwandan court on terrorism charges. He called his trial a "sham." 

The man who’s been credited for rescuing hundreds of people from genocide in Rwanda, inspiring the film Hotel Rwanda, was convicted of terrorism charges on Monday.   

Paul Rusesabagina, 67, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for being part of a terrorist group, murder and abduction by a Rwandan court, according to the Associated Press. He called the trial a “sham.”   

In 1994, Rusesabagina protected Rwanda’s Tutsi population during the Rwandan genocide, even receiving the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom for his efforts.   

RELATED: Report: France ‘bears significant responsibility’ for Rwandan genocide

According to AP, critics of Rwanda’s government and human rights groups have said the trial and his conviction is an act of retaliation.   

Rusesabagina disappeared last year when visiting the United Arab Emirates and then appeared in handcuffs in Rwanda, per reports. He was accused of supporting an armed wing of the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change.   

“We knew from the day he was kidnapped that the verdict would be ‘guilty’ on some or all of the false charges. We are happy that the charade of the trial is ending,” his family said in a statement to AP. 

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