September 9, 2020 - 16:31 AMT
Daughter of Rwandan "genocide hero" pleads for his release

Carine Kanimba, the daughter of Rwandan activist Paul Rusesabagina , is pleading for help from the U.S. and other international powers, the Voice of American reports.

Rusesabagina – the man who was hailed a hero in a Hollywood movie about the country’s 1994 genocide – has been arrested on terrorism charges. The 66-year-old who was depicted in the film “Hotel Rwanda” had been arrested in Dubai and brought to Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. Accompanied by police officers at a press conference, he was charged with sponsoring rebel groups and terrorism-related offenses among other things. He was seen at the offices of the Rwanda Investigation Bureau, the country’s national law enforcement agency.

The government accuses Rusesabagina of sponsoring two main opposition groups, the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change, which Rusesabagina co-founded, and PDR-Ihumure.

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates later denied involvement in Rusesabagina’s arrest and said he left “on a private jet bound for the East African country,” according to media reports.

Rusesabagina’s travel to Dubai doesn’t surprise his family. As part of his activism, he travels widely and speaks at various institutions said his daughter, whom he adopted after she was orphaned in the genocide. What was clear to the family is that he didn’t plan to go to Kigali.

“Going to Rwanda was never part of the plan. And that's why we believe that he was forcefully taken and brought to Rwanda,” she said.

Rusesabagina is a Belgian citizen and holds a U.S. green card. It is unclear how he was taken from Dubai to Kigali.

Now Kanimba fears for her father’s safety.

“Honestly from the bottom of my heart, I am in so much fear for his life. He had survived cancer a few years ago. He has hypertension and needs medication ... that has to be taken with food.”

She is pleading for help from the U.S. and other international powers.

“We do not know what condition he is in now,” she said. “So we're pleading and begging the international community to help us see him and to help us bring him home.”