Rwanda Arrests The Man Who Inspired The Hollywood Film 'Hotel Rwanda' Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed in the film Hotel Rwanda as the hero who saved fellow Rwandans during the 1994 genocide, has been arrested and charged by his government with terrorism.
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Rwanda Arrests The Man Who Inspired The Hollywood Film 'Hotel Rwanda'

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Rwanda Arrests The Man Who Inspired The Hollywood Film 'Hotel Rwanda'

Rwanda Arrests The Man Who Inspired The Hollywood Film 'Hotel Rwanda'

Rwanda Arrests The Man Who Inspired The Hollywood Film 'Hotel Rwanda'

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Paul Rusesabagina, portrayed in the film Hotel Rwanda as the hero who saved fellow Rwandans during the 1994 genocide, has been arrested and charged by his government with terrorism.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The man who inspired the Hollywood film "Hotel Rwanda" has been arrested. Rwandan authorities have charged him with murder and terrorism. NPR's Eyder Peralta reports.

EYDER PERALTA, BYLINE: In the movie, Paul Rusesabagina is played by Don Cheadle. He plays a hotel manager giving Tutsis refuge during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. In one scene, he risks his own life, giving a soldier a fake guest list.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HOTEL RWANDA")

DON CHEADLE: (As Paul Rusesabagina) It is the guest list, sir.

MDUDUZI MABASO: (As lieutenant) Are you trying to make a fool of me?

CHEADLE: (As Paul Rusesabagina) No. We stopped taking names after the president was murdered.

PERALTA: The real-life Paul Rusesabagina was given the Medal of Freedom by President Bush. In recent years, he's been living in exile as a prominent critic of President Paul Kagame. Yesterday he was paraded in handcuffs by Rwandan authorities.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: He has been subject of an international arrest warrant, wanted to answer charges of serious crime.

PERALTA: The spokesman for Rwanda's Investigation Bureau said two years ago, Rusesabagina organized cross-border attacks against Rwandan citizens.

Was your dad organizing armed groups to attack in Rwanda?

ANAISE KANIMBA: No, no. Our father has been working as a humanitarian and has been working as a political opponent.

PERALTA: That is Rusesabagina's daughter, Anaise Kanimba. She says the last time they heard from their father was last Thursday after he arrived in Dubai for a meeting. The government of Rwanda, she says, must have kidnapped him there and all because, she says, he was a critic of the government.

KANIMBA: It is terrifying. It is terrifying because we know how the government treats people. We know that they've tortured people. People have disappeared in their hands.

PERALTA: Indeed, President Kagame's government has a history of bringing bogus charges against political rivals, and it also has a history of going beyond its borders to settle political scores. Eyder Peralta, NPR News, Lemongo, Kenya.

(SOUNDBITE OF GABRIELLE CHILLMARK'S "FOREST AIR")

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