Carine Kanimba has criticized Boris Johnson for shaking hands with Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame, whom she claims was behind the “kidnapping” and detention of her exiled father, Paul Rusesabagina
The daughter of a jailed Rwandan politician has blasted Boris Johnson for shaking hands with the despot she claims “kidnapped” her father.
Mr Johnson beamed as he posed next to Rwanda’s dictator Paul Kagame in the capital Kigali on Thursday.
Kagame has been accused of human rights abuses, including torture, enforced disappearances and even murders abroad.
Carine Kanimba claims the dictator was behind the “kidnapping” and imprisonment of her father, Paul Rusesabagina, which inspired the Oscar-nominated film Hotel Rwanda.
Mr Rusesabagina was a high-profile critic of Kagame before he was “kidnapped” in Dubai and returned to Rwanda to face the trial.
Ms Kanimba told The Mirror: “It is inconceivable to us that the British Prime Minister would smile and shake the hand of the man who is keeping our father behind bars.
AFP via Getty Images)
“Kagame’s government has openly admitted to paying for the plane that hijacked my father.
“My father was then tortured and subjected to a trial that was condemned as unfair by the international community.
“The UN, the European Parliament and the US State Department have called for his release.
“We ask Boris Johnson to join with leaders in the EU, the US and thousands around the world to plead with President Kagame to release our father and save his life.”
POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Mr. Rusesabagina helped save more than 1,000 lives during the Rwanda genocide in 1994 and his heroic efforts inspired the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda.
The former hotel manager went into exile in the US in 2004 before being “kidnapped” in Dubai and returning to Rwanda in 2020.
The Rwandan government has always said Mr Rusesabagina was arrested on an “international arrest warrant”, although it has not given details and his family claims he was kidnapped.
Mr Rusesabagina was sentenced to 25 years in prison on terrorism charges last year, with critics calling the trial a “show trial”.
Mr Johnson met Kagame during the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which is taking place this week.
Hosting the event was seen as a PR win for Rwanda, although it was largely overshadowed by Britain’s recently announced plan to return refugees to the country.
Prince Charles, who is in Kigali for the Commonwealth Summit, is said to have described the scheme as “appalling”.
Kagame has been linked to the 2014 murder of his former spy boss Patrick Karegeya in Johannesburg, South Africa.
A few days after Mr Karegeya’s death, Kagame ominously warned: “You cannot betray Rwanda without being punished for it.
“Everyone, even those who are still alive, will reap the consequences.”
Despite this, the Rwandan dictator denied responsibility for the murder.
He said: “I really wish Rwanda had done it. I really wish it.”
According to reputable NGOs and charities such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW), Rwanda has an extremely worrying record of human rights abuses, including concerns about torture and abortion rights.
Amnesty International’s 2021/22 World Report highlights concerns about violations of fundamental human rights such as freedom of expression when there is no free press and when journalists are controlled or targeted.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the guardian of press freedom, said that “due to Kagame’s oppressive rule, authoritarianism and censorship are likely to persist for the foreseeable future”.
Elsewhere, the country has “returned its previous commitments and rejected recommendations” on enforced disappearances.
Amnesty said: “Suspected cases of enforced disappearance were reported and cases of enforced disappearance from previous years remained unresolved.”
Downing Street has been asked for comment.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/daughter-hotel-rwanda-hero-blasts-27310396 Daughter of Hotel Rwanda hero blasts Boris Johnson for shaking hands with dictator - World News