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Famed Rwandan Hotelier Formally Charged

Paul Rusesabagina faces 12 charges including “terrorism” in a case shining a spotlight on opposition to President Paul Kagame. Brought to a Kigali court handcuffed in a van inscribed “RIB” for Rwanda Investigation Bureau, Rusesabagina wore an anti-coronavirus mask and sat pensively during the hearing on Monday. He did not immediately offer a plea but one of his government-appointed lawyers, David Rugaza, said Rusesabagina was on trial for exercising his freedom of speech. Rusesabagina, who once called for armed resistance to the government in a YouTube video, was accused of “terrorism”, complicity in murder, and forming or joining an armed group, among other charges. Rwandan police have said Rusesabagina was arrested on an international warrant. His family dispute that and say he was kidnapped from Dubai. Human Rights Watch last week said Rusesabagina was a victim of enforced disappearance. In a statement on Wednesday, Amnesty International called on Rwandan authorities to guarantee his right to a fair trial.