Nairobi, Kenya – Paul RosabaginaA prominent defector portrayed in the Oscar-nominated film Hotel Rwanda is denied food and medicine in a Rwandan prison where he is being held on terrorism charges, according to his family, lawyer and foundation, even as the 66-year-old has complained of ill health.
Mr. Rsapagina told his family members that prison officials told him they would cut off his access to food, water and medicine starting Saturday.
His family and lawyers believe that the move by the Rwandan authorities was an attempt to put pressure on him Back to his trial, who stopped attending in March after saying he did not expect to receive justice. Mr. Rusesabagina, former hotel owner Their efforts to save more than 1,200 people During the genocide in the country he was filmed in the “Hotel Rwanda”, and he later became a critic of the government of President Paul Kagame.
No official reason was given for the new order, and Johnston Busenge, Rwanda’s attorney general and justice minister, who oversees the country’s prison system, did not immediately respond to calls and texts seeking comment.
On Friday, Mr. Rospagina’s lawyers were due to visit him, but were denied entry to prison, his senior adviser, Kate Gibson, said. Describing recent developments as “alarming”, Ms Gibson said the legal team had submitted an “urgent note” to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to seek an investigation into Mr. Rsabagina’s situation.
“It is hard to imagine a situation characterized by more direct and intentional harm to a detainee, particularly if he is in poor health,” Ms Gibson told the New York Times.
It was Mr. Rusesabagina He was arrested last August and charged for nine crimes, including premeditated murder and the formation of an armed group accused of carrying out deadly attacks in Rwanda. A Belgian citizen and permanent resident of the United States, he traveled from his home in San Antonio, Texas, to join Constantin Neumunger, a pastor who says He invited him to speak to his churches In Burundi, neighboring Rwanda.
Mr Rusesabagina was unaware that Mr Niyomwungere was acting as an agent for the Government of Rwanda and was part of the Planning to lure him into the country. After Monday’s meeting in Dubai Take a private plane That Mr. Rosabagina believed he was going to Burundi – only to land in Kigali on 28 August where he was summarily arrested.
The Rwandan authorities said that Mr. Rosabagina was going to Burundi to meet with rebel groups based there and in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In the days leading up to his presentation to the press on August 31, Mr. Rossabjina remained handcuffed, unable to breathe or use the bathroom properly, and was held in a location he described as a “slaughterhouse” where he heard the screams of other detainees, according to an affidavit from one of his Rwandan lawyers, Jean Felix Rudakimua.
Murangira B Thierry, a spokesperson for the Rwanda Investigations Bureau, denied the allegations in the affidavit. He said the office is a “professional investigative body that respects human rights.”
Mr. Rospagina’s lawyers say they have not only been prevented from visiting him, but must also submit all documents they wish to share with him to the authorities first. Previously, prison officials had to review any notes made by lawyers during meetings with him before they were released from prison, Ms Gibson said.
“Preventing access to lawyers of his choosing, to the case file against him, from time and resources to preparing a defence,” Gibson said, “the proceedings against Mr.
Lawyers and family for Mr. Rsapagina say his health has deteriorated since his arrest and that he has expressed fears that he may die of a stroke.
“Especially concerning is the fact that the doctor provided by the Rwandan government prescribed him three bottles of water a day, and he is not getting it,” said Kitty Court, a spokeswoman for his foundation. He said in a statement on Friday.
Mr. Rossapgina is a cancer survivor, suffers from cardiovascular problems and complains of severe back pain.
“My family is very scared and worried,” Anis Kanimba, the daughter of Mr. Rossabgina, said on Saturday. We don’t know if his health will work. We don’t know when we’ll talk to him next. This is devastating.”