Inside Story

Why has ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero been jailed?

Paul Rusesabagina saved lives during the Rwandan genocide but has been sentenced to 25 years in jail for ‘terrorism.’

For many, Paul Rusesabagina is a hero – the former hotel manager saved the lives of more than 1,200 people by giving them shelter during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The story was celebrated in the Hollywood film, Hotel Rwanda.

Since then, Rusesabagina has become one of the most vocal critics of President Paul Kagame. Now, the government accused him of being part of an armed group.

He has been convicted and jailed for 25 years for “terrorism” in a trial that rights groups have dismissed as a “sham”.

So, did his criticism of the president play a role in the outcome?

Presenter: Imran Khan


Yolande Makolo – Rwandan government spokesperson

Brian Endless – Director of African studies at Loyola University Chicago and senior adviser to the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation

Jonathan Offei-Ansah – Publisher of Africa Briefing, a pan-African newsmagazine based in London