Join us to secure Paul Rusesabagina release from illegal detention in Rwanda

Join us to secure Paul Rusesabagina release from illegal detention in Rwanda

2,140 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!

Why this petition matters

Started by Anaise Kanimba

My name is Anaïse Kanimba, and I am the daughter of Paul and Taciana Rusesabagina. Many of you know my father as the hero from Hotel Rwanda, but to my five siblings and me, he is our hero, our dad, and grandpa to seven beautiful grandchildren. To my sister Carine and me, he is our angel who has offered us a second chance to live with unconditional love after he saved us from a refugee camp at the end of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Carine and I had become orphans when our biological parents’ were brutally killed. We want to save our father just like he saved us. We were not the only ones to come across his humanity.

My father also saved 1,268 people in the hotel he managed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide as depicted in the movie Hotel Rwanda. My father is a hero who has received many accolades over the years, including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. 

He has now been wrongfully detained for over 590 days. Join me in supporting campaign to Free Paul Rusesabagina, my father.  I also urge the US Government and international community to do everything within their power to bring him home from illegal detention in Rwanda to his family in San Antonio, Texas. 

Although hailed as a hero internationally, my father became a target of the Rwandan government, an autocratic regime that does not tolerate any dissent and harshly represses its critics. When he began speaking out against the government of Rwanda for its lack of democracy and its blatant human rights violations, he became an enemy of the Rwandan government. 

In August 2020, the Rwandan government abducted my father. He was illegally lured from his home in San Antonio and taken against his will to Rwanda without an arrest warrant or extradition. He was tortured on his arrival in Rwanda for 4 days and then held in solitary confinement for 258 days. He was subjected to a sham trial on fabricated charges, convicted with no credible evidence, and now sits in a Rwandan jail on a 25-year sentence.

The TrialWatch initiative of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, in collaboration with the American Bar Association for Human Rights, was the independent legal monitor of my father’s trial. Their findings indicate that this was a Show Trial and was “more public spectacle than judicial undertaking.” Additionally, an Opinion issued by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, an arm of the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, claims the trial violated my father’s rights and should have never taken place. 

My father’s health is deteriorating, and his situation is now urgent. He is 67 years old and is ill. With a history of cancer and heart disease, access to proper medical care is vital to his livelihood. Our family has recently learned he has a physical impairment indicating signs of strokes. We are extremely worried for his life.

Please join our family in adding your name to the list of those demanding that the international community, the US and Belgian governments pressure Rwanda to #FreeRusesabagina immediately. 

Thank you, 

Anaïse Kanimba


2,140 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!