Paul Rusesabagina, the man who inspired the Hollywood blockbuster “Hotel Rwanda,” has been released from prison after his sentence was commuted by Rwandan President Paul Kagame in response to his request for clemency.
In September 2021, Rusesabagina was found guilty of terrorism-related crimes and sentenced to 25 years in jail.
Rusesabagina, a dual Rwandan and Belgian citizen and US resident, will be released on Saturday, March 25, along with 19 other people who were convicted alongside him.
“Commutation of sentence does not extinguish the underlying conviction,” said Rwandan government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo on Friday.
“Rwanda notes the constructive role of the US government in creating conditions for dialogue on this issue, as well as the facilitation provided by the State of Qatar,” she added.
Rusesabagina was detained by Rwandan officials while on international trip in 2020, in what his family claims was an abduction.
Rusesabagina was found guilty of being a member of the terror group MRCD-FLN during his trial in 2021. According to a government statement, two 2018 incidents in which nine persons were killed were a specific emphasis.
Rusesabagina was an outspoken adversary of President Kagame prior to his trial and imprisonment.
His narrative was adapted into the Hollywood blockbuster “Hotel Rwanda,” starring Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo, and he is best known for hiding hundreds of Rwandans during the country’s genocide.