Rwanda: Paul Rusesabagina Reunited with Family

A vocal critic of Rwanda’s ruling party, Paul Rusesabagina, was convicted of terrorism-related activities for his alleged role in attacks perpetrated by the National Liberation Front (FLN) following a sham trial.

In March 2023, two and a half years after he was arrested in Rwanda, Rusesabagina’s 25-year prison sentence was commuted and he was freed. Our monitoring and reporting were key to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s finding that Rusesabagina was being arbitrarily detained. Our findings were also used in pivotal calls for his release by both the EU and the US authorities.

The most recent of the three TrialWatch reports produced on the trial of Rusesabagina described it as “seriously flawed” and as having “violated international and regional standards for fair trial procedures”. TrialWatch Expert Geoffrey Robertson KC said that the court “accepted and promoted the government’s case … without question or challenge.”

I think it's not an exaggeration to say that had Paul's trial not been independently monitored, had TrialWatch not stepped up and agreed to do this he may very well still be in Rwanda.

Kate Gibson Paul Rusesabagina's Lawyer