US Congress writes to President Kagame over Hotel Rwanda Hero Rusesabagina

The United States Congress members have written to President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda requesting him to return Paul Rusesabagina, a US Lawful Permanent Resident and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree, safely to the United States to be reunited with his family.

“As Members of the U.S Congress who have a strong interest in US-Rwandan relations, we believe that releasing Mr Rusesabagina on humanitarian grounds is both justified and appropriate, since he is a cancer survivor in the midst of the Covid pandemic who suffers from several chronic medical conditions,” reads in part a letter which our reporter has seen.

The letter which is signed by 37 people expresses grave concern with the manner in which the Rwandan government extrajudicially transferred Mr Rusesabagina from the United Arab Emirates to Rwanda and then immediately placed him in solitary confinement and charged him with multiple crimes, including terrorism.

“As your government is aware, US deportation law provides a clear, legal procedure to deport persons for various crimes, including engaging in acts of terrorism. The US deportation process complies with the due process while enabling the United States to deport those who should face criminal prosecution in another country. In fact, it is our understanding that over the past two decades, the United States has deported four people to Rwanda and will deport four more to Rwanda after they complete their US criminal sentences.”

“Given this record of Rwandans being deported from the United States when the legal standards are met, your government’s resort to the extrajudicial transfer of Mr Rusesabagina demonstrates a disregard for U.S. law and suggests a lack of confidence in the credibility of the evidence against him,” the letter further reads.

“We wish to underscore the breadth of bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress for your government to return Mr. Rusesabagina. Our government is monitoring his condition closely. Because it is in the strong interest of US-Rwandan relations and Rwanda’s international reputation, and there are compelling humanitarian grounds for your government to return Mr Rusesabagina to his family in the United States, we urge you to do so expeditiously,” the letter concludes.

Click here to access the full letter