HANDS OFF RWANDA’S JUSTICE SYSTEM: We will not be intimidated

HANDS OFF RWANDA’S JUSTICE SYSTEM: We will not be intimidated

Congressmen Joaquin Castro of Texas and Young Kim of California have tabled a resolution (HR 892) in Congress demanding the unconditional release of a convicted terrorist, Paul Rusesabagina.

Joaquin Castro

These honorable gentlemen forget one thing: US Congress has no power over Rwandan courts, and Rwanda’s justice system is independent and not beholden to anyone, later on outside powers.

What if roles were reversed and another country demanded the release of alleged (as well as) convicted felons in US prisons, or Guantanamo, Cuba where hundreds of alleged terrorists are rotting, never mind how they ended up in Cuba, and have not appeared before a judge in over a decade?

This condescending sense of entitlement astounds me, never mind that it is coming from US Congressmen. They fail to realize that Rwanda is an independent and sovereign country that, not now or ever, will bow to such brazen camouflaged threats.

We may be a small country but we are not small-minded and will not take orders especially from those who neither understand us nor understand whence we came. In a nutshell, our resolve and tenacity come from years of exile and hardships we have endured to forge a New Rwanda.

Back to the Congressmen’s demands: they argue that Rusesabagina, 67, should be released on humanitarian grounds because he is a cancer survivor, a recipient of a Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Green Card holder, therefore a permanent resident of the US. Do I hear a violin playing in the background!

Paul Rusesagina being taken to court

So what! He is also an avowed genocide denier, a negationist, and a convicted felon. Surely, before he embarked on his terrorist activities he was well aware of his medical condition.

I do NOT mean to be heartless. But, you do the crime, you do the time.

Osama Bin Laden is said to have been diabetic, but that did not stop the US from taking him out. Give me a break.

Someone forgot to remind the Congressmen that Rusesabagina is a Rwandan citizen and therefore his status in the US has no bearing on crimes he committed in Rwanda. Their twisted argument is weak and not legally sound.

It is alleged Rusesabagina has not received the medical attention his medical condition requires. Let it be known that he was among the first Rwandans to receive a vaccine for Covid-19. As a convicted felon he will receive treatment that other prisoners get. No more, no less. And for that matter, Rwandans with cancer do not receive the treatment they would otherwise receive at, for instance, Md Anderson Cancer Center. That is the reality.

In arguing in favor of Rusesabagina people tend to forget his victims. All in all nine people lost their lives and scores more are enduring physical and psychological trauma they have to deal with for the rest of their lives. Rusesabagina can spend the next twenty fives years pondering over the consequences of his actions.

Congress woman Young Kim

And as for being kidnapped, baloney. Before he boarded the private plane he neither reserved nor paid for, he was sipping champagne in the VIP lobby at the Dubai airport, jolly as a drunken sailor.

And how do you kidnap a fugitive from justice? You lure them, entice them to be where they can be apprehended, and in the end there is hardly a crime committed.

On May 23, 1960, Adolf Eichmann the Nazi war criminal was kidnapped by Mossad in Argentina. The world did not shed any tears and there was no opposition to the brazen James Bond type takedown. The US carries on these operations daily and the world looks the other way.

Rusesabagina’s downfall was unlike most. His ego and momentary Hollywood fame clouded his reasoning, and now he must face the music. At a time when the world is actively pursuing the war on terror, the double standard applied to Rwanda is a sham, unfair, and should be taken for what it is: one standard for the West and another for Africa.

1 comment
  • US judicial system does not consider the circumstances that a convict of crime he or she did in or against US or how they may have made it to be in the country for the purpose that they face justice of the land, no long stories told. ….!!??