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Free Rusesabagina? President Kagame Has Something to Say to Critics

by Edmund Kagire
2:06 am

President Kagame speaks during the Global Security Summit.

President Paul Kagame says that the people who created Paul Rusesabagina’s celebrity status are the same people pushing that he is freed, disregarding all the facts brought to the fore during the trial and victims of his actions, who also deserves justice.

“The same people that created that celebrity status have to work towards having him freed, in fact, absolved of any responsibility, irrespective of the victims of his actions or the co-accused who actually stood in this case with him for him,” President Kagame said on Tuesday during the Global Security Forum (GSF).

“This is where the interesting part comes in because now it becomes the case of where the powerful, in whatever sense you put that, will just determine and say, no, this man first of all, we are the ones who made him a celebrity,” he added.

The Head of State said that for Rwanda’s critics, whatever Rusesabagina did is none of their business.

“He must be freed because he has residence in the United States or that he is a citizen of Belgium,” President Kagame said.

President Kagame said that in fact the two countries had been sharing information even in the lead up to the arrest and subsequent trial of Rusesabagina.

“The judicial system of Belgium and that of the United States, were privy to these activities. We shared everything with them for almost a decade. So, they can’t even say, they don’t know,” President Kagame said.

“It’s like they are just saying no, switch off everything and forget about this. We want this one [Rusesabagina] to be released,” President Kagame said.

“These organizations or these countries are powerful but I think we need to take care of our own people’s security as well and we will do that legally and very firmly,” he said.

He pointed out that Rwanda cannot compromise when it comes to securing the lives of the citizens.

“They can keep talking about the Hollywood stories but where it involves our lives, our lives are as precious to us as lives are precious to Belgium, the United States or any other who might be interested,” President Kagame said.

Rusesabagina was sentenced to 25 years in Prison on September 20 on terror related charges, in a trial which involved 20 others, all former members of the National Liberation Front (FLN), the armed wing of Rusesabagina’s Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD coalition).

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