CHICAGO – Mar. 1, 2021 — In an extraordinary interview Friday on Al Jazeera’s Upfront with Marc Lamont Hill, Johnston Busingye, the Rwandan Minister of Justice and Attorney General, admitted that Rwanda paid for the plane used to kidnap Paul Rusesabagina. He also made the shocking admission that Rwanda is choosing to completely ignore lawyer/client confidentiality in the case of Paul Rusesabagina. Finally, he said that they found evidence of a fake “escape plan” in Rusesabagina’s papers.
Another New York Times story about the legal violations talks about the Al Jazeera interview and the unbelievable information provided by an hour and a half media training interview video inadvertently sent to UpFront by Busingye’s media advisors. According to the NYT, in another clip aired by Al Jazeera, Mr. Busingye is seen receiving advice on how to respond to queries about who paid for the private jet that brought Mr. Rusesabagina to Kigali. In the video, the public relations consultant can be heard warning the minister to be “cautious” because the interviewer was “looking for something they can put out in a news release about the interview — looking for nuggets of hard stuff.”
These news reports both highlight the fact that there is no possibility of a fair trial for Rusesabagina. His rights have been violated since his August 2020 kidnapping, torture and improper arrest, and more. The lack of attorney client privilege is the latest violation of his legal rights.
Busingye’s comment about the “escape plan” is particularly troubling as this is a common way in which the Rwandan government commits extrajudicial murders of prisoners. Prisoners who are “killed in the act of escaping prison” are far too common in Rwanda. If Paul Rusesabagina is killed while “attempting to escape,” the world will know that it is actually another Kagame assassination of a jailed person.
The Rwandan government has been actively involved in setting up this scenario since early November 2020. Since that time, Paul Rusesabagina’s daughter Carine Kanimba, currently in Brussels, Belgium, has been receiving voice recordings and text messages from “Hamiss Mjinya” who claims to be one of Mr. Rusesabagina’s prison guards in Rwanda.
Mr. Mjinya first contacted her via Direct Messages on Twitter (handle: @HMjinya) and has also started contacting Ms. Kanimba via WhatsApp and phone from a number which Ms. Kanimba blocked. She then started receiving the same messages from two other phone numbers.
Mr. Mjinya claims that he received Ms. Kanimba’s phone number and contact details from Mr. Rusesabagina in prison. This is impossible, given that Mr. Rusesabagina does not have (and has never had) the contact details in question. In these messages, Kanimba is told that the only way to avoid Mr. Rusesabagina spending the rest of his life in jail is for him to escape. Mr. Mjinya and his three colleagues (one of whom has the rank of Major) claim to have a plan for his escape, but they need Ms. Kanimba to agree to this plan, and provide money for a vehicle. He further states, after the escape Mr. Rusesabagina will be taken to Bujumbura, in Burundi.
Ms. Kanimba has never communicated with the prison guard, or responded to his messages. She has recorded all communications, and handed them over to the Belgian Authorities and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations.
Efforts like this are exactly the kinds of things the Rwandan Investigation Bureau engages in to both entrap people, but also to set up potential extrajudicial murders. Paul Rusesabagina’s family wants to make it clear that any harm that comes to Paul is the direct responsibility of the Kagame government.
Here is the full report on the harassment and baiting: Harassment, fake escape plan (https://hotelrwandarusesabaginafoundation.files.wordpress…)
Watch: Al Jazeera’s Upfront with Marc Lamont Hill (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uXvQpIOVEU&t=4s) 2/26/21
New York Times: Rwanda Official Admits Legal Violations in ‘Hotel Rwanda’ Case (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/27/world/africa/paul-rusesabagina-hotel-rwanda-case.html) 2/27/21