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The family of Paul Rusesabagina, whose heroism during the 1994 Rwandan genocide was depicted in the Hollywood film Hotel Rwanda, have filed a $400m lawsuit in the US over his alleged abduction and torture by the government in Kigali.

The lawsuit names the government of Rwanda, President Paul Kagame, and other senior officials including the former justice minister and intelligence chief. “The complaint alleges that the Government of Rwanda and high-ranking Rwandan officials conspired to facilitate and execute an elaborate plot to lure Paul Rusesabagina from his home in Texas to Rwanda, where he would be tortured and illegally detained,” the family and his lawyers said in a statement on Saturday.

Holder of a US green card, as well as Belgian citizenship, Rusesabagina, 67, was tricked into travelling from the US to Burundi in 2020 by the promise of work. Rusesabagina’s family and lawyers will hold a news conference in Washington, DC on Wednesday, May 4 to announce further details of the suit, which is seeking at least $400m in compensation, as well as punitive damages.

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