SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – The San Antonio resident who inspired the movie “Hotel Rwanda” has been arrested in Dubai on terror charges. The daughter of Paul Rusesabagina claims her father was “kidnapped” and imprisoned in Rwanda.
Kathleen Tobin Krueger of New Braunfels, a friend of Rusesabagina and his wife, issued a plea in a Facebook post.
“Urgent. Please pray and help if you can,” read Krueger’s Facebook post. “He will assuredly be tortured.”
Krueger said Rusesabagina was getting ready to head home when his plane was intercepted and he was arrested in Dubai. Krueger didn’t know whether Rusesabagina was heading to Europe or the United States because he and his wife have homes in San Antonio and Belgium.
Krueger says Rusesabagina, an outspoken critic of Rwanda’s government, often spoke about the danger he was in.
“He was not afraid. There were many attempts on his life in Belgium,” said Kruger. “He is a warrior for peace & justice, selflessly exposing atrocities around the world and in his own home country Rwanda.”
According to the Associated Press, Rwandan authorities said they issued an arrest warrant for Rusesabagina to answer charges including terrorism, arson, kidnap, and murder, perpetrated against unarmed, innocent Rwandan civilians on Rwandan territory. AP reports that Rusesabagina is accused of being “the founder, leader, sponsor and member of violent, armed, extremist terror outfits including the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD) operating out of various places in the region and abroad.”
Rusesabagina’s adopted daughter, Carine Kanimba, told The Associated Press he was kidnapped.
“What they’re accusing him of is all made up,” she said “There is no evidence to what they’re claiming … We know this is a wrongful arrest.”
Kanimba is concerned that the 66-year-old may not be getting the medication he needs for hypertension.
Actor Don Cheadle portrayed Rusesabagina in the 2004 Oscar-nominated film “Hotel Rwanda” as the hotel manager who saved the lives of more than 1,200 Tutsis from genocide. Former President George W. Bush awarded Rusesabagina the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 and he received the Lantos Human Rights Prize in 2011.
According to AP, the State Department in Washington said that “we are aware of the arrest of Paul Rusesabagina, and we are monitoring the situation. We refer you to the Rwandan government for additional information.”