April 28, 2021
Contact: Kitty Kurth
Mallorca, Spain April 28, 2021 – The Balearic Islands Parliament approved an initiative on Thursday, April 22 presented by Unidas Podemos to urge the Government of Rwanda to proceed with the liberation of the activist Paul Rusesabagina, to advance the democratization of the country and guarantee human rights.
The initiative has been led by Unidas Podemos, presented jointly with the rest of the Pacte parties, and approved by the Commission on Social Affairs, Human Rights and Sports unanimously. The activist’s family (his daughters, Carine and Lys, and his nephew, Jean Paul) witnessed the debate and vote on the initiative in a separate room. Cristina Mayor, deputy of Unidas Podemos and promoter of the Proposition, explained that “it is necessary for the Parliament to speak out in defense of human rights. Today the case we are bringing here is that of Paul Rusesabagina, who must be released immediately.”
Mayor also used her turn to speak at the Commission to read a letter from the activist’s family: “As a hotel manager, our father took in and gave refuge to 1,268 people who had taken refuge in him. When the militias tried to break into the hotel to kill everyone, our father used his charm and his negotiating skills to protect the people. He exchanged money for lives and food for favors. He appealed to everyone for help, spending day and night asking for help. He welcomed all the victims who could reach the hotel and managed to protect and save everyone present. Since the terrible events of the genocide, our father has become a clear and dedicated defender of human rights and civil liberties.
“We know that there is a lot of impunity in the Rwandan government. The whereabouts of many political dissidents are not known, they are persecuted. In this Commission we have carried out various initiatives in favor of human rights and it could not be that we did not present this here. I would also like to thank all the groups that work in their defense, for their constant work ”, explained Mayor. “I want to thank you because this NLP has been unanimously approved. I am not saying this as a member of the Unidas Podemos, but surely on behalf of the family, which is surely very grateful for the support. It is known that Paul’s health is not good and that he has had difficulties accessing his lawyers. He needs a fair trial and access to the medications he needs. We hope that this initiative serves as a model for other regions and other countries in the world to defend human rights,” concluded Mayor.
Carine Kanimba, daughter of Paul Rusesabagina, said, “We are so thankful for the leadership shown by the The Balearic Islands Parliament in calling for my father’s immediate release. We hope that the rest of Spain follows their lead. Years ago, one of the first Intra Rwandan Dialogues on Truth and Reconciliation was held in Spain, so it is only fitting that we come back here to call for my father’s freedom.”