Biden celebrates ‘Lodge Rwanda’ hero Paul Rusesabagina’s launch from jail

President Joe Biden on Friday cheered the Rwandan authorities’s announcement of their launch of Paul Rusesabagina, the inspiration for the 2004 Hollywood film Lodge Rwanda.

“I welcome at present’s launch of Paul Rusesabagina by the Authorities of Rwanda,” Biden mentioned in a press release. “Paul’s household is raring to welcome him again to the US, and I share their pleasure at at present’s excellent news.”


The president added, “I thank the Rwandan Authorities for making this reunion doable, and I additionally thank the Authorities of Qatar for facilitating Paul’s launch and return to the US. I add my gratitude to these throughout the U.S. Authorities who’ve labored with the Authorities of Rwanda to attain at present’s glad end result.”

Rusesabagina might be launched on Saturday after having been captured, tried by the Rwandan authorities, and held in captivity for 2 and half years.

Paul Rusesabagina
FILE – Paul Rusesabagina, who impressed the movie “Lodge Rwanda” and is credited with saving greater than 1,000 individuals by sheltering them on the lodge he managed through the genocide, attends a courtroom listening to in Kigali, Rwanda, Friday Feb. 26, 2021. Rwanda’s authorities has commuted the sentence of Paul Rusesabagina was convicted of terrorism offenses years later in a extensively criticized trial. Authorities spokeswoman Yolande Makolo advised The Related Press on Friday, March 24, 2023, that the 25-year sentence was commuted by presidential order after a request for clemency. (AP Photograph/Muhizi Olivier, File)

Muhizi Olivier/AP

The 68-year-old U.S. resident and Belgian citizen might be allowed to return to his household in the US. He’s anticipated to fly to Doha after which on to the US on Saturday.

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Throughout a talking journey in 2020, Rusesabagina traveled to Dubai and disappeared. Then he appeared in Rwanda days later after having been kidnapped, tortured, and placed on trial by the federal government. The Rwandan authorities accused him of belonging to an armed opposition group and convicted him of eight terrorist-related fees, together with homicide, kidnapping, and belonging to a terrorist group. He was sentenced to 25 years in jail regardless of him pleading harmless to the costs.

Don Cheadle at Hotel Rwanda premiere in 2004
Don Cheadle, star of the brand new movie “Lodge Rwanda,” arrives with girlfriend Bridgid Coulter on the premiere of the movie on the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 2, 2004. The movie tells the true story of Paul Rusesabagina, a lodge supervisor in Rwanda who sheltered greater than a thousand Tutsis from Hutu militias through the nation’s genocide within the mid-Nineteen Nineties. (AP Photograph/Chris Pizzello)


“Unbelievable information,” Don Cheadle, the actor who portrayed Rusesabagina in Lodge Rwanda, mentioned in response to the announcement of his launch.

His launch comes simply weeks earlier than the twenty ninth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, which killed as many as 1 million individuals. The Oscar-nominated movie about his story helped draw worldwide condemnation and criticism of the nation’s genocide.

Rusesabagina is credited for serving to shelter and save the lives of 1,268 Tutsis on the lodge that he managed in Rwanda’s capital of Kigali.

Rusesabagina left Rwanda in 1996, transferring to Belgium after which later to the US. He was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2005.

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