Rwandaâs government has commuted the sentence of Paul Rusesabagina, who inspired the film âHotel Rwandaâ for saving hundreds of countrymen from genocide but was convicted of terrorism offenses years later in a widely criticized trial.
Government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo told The Associated Press on Friday that the 25-year sentence was commuted by presidential order after a request for clemency.
Rusesabagina, a U.S. resident and Belgian citizen, is expected to be released on Saturday, she said.
âRwanda notes the constructive role of the U.S. government in creating conditions for dialogue on this issue, as well as the facilitation provided by the state of Qatar,â Makolo said.
The case had been described by the United States and others as unfair.
Rusesabagina disappeared in 2020 during a visit to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and appeared days later in Rwanda in handcuffs.
His family alleged he was kidnapped and taken to Rwanda against his will to stand trial.
Rusesabagina has asserted that his arrest was in response to his criticism of longtime Rwandan President Paul Kagame over alleged human rights abuses.
Kagameâs government has repeatedly denied targeting dissenting voices with arrests and extrajudicial killings.
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