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Freed "Hotel Rwanda" hero arrives in Qatar

Paul Rusesabagina in court in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2021   -  
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Muhizi Olivier/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.


Rwandan opposition figure, Paul Rusesabagina, has arrived in Qatar following his release on Friday after over 900 days in prison.

In 2021, he was sentenced to 25 years in jail over his ties to a group opposed to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, that has an armed wing.

A permanent resident of the United States, his release came after months of negotiations between Washington and Kigali.

The 68-year-old former hotelier inspired the Hollywood film, "Hotel Rwanda" about his role in saving the lives of hundreds of people fleeing Hutus during the 1994 genocide against Tutsis.

He became a fierce critic of Kagame and formed his own political party. In 1996, he left Rwanda for Belgium but his family said he was tricked into taking a flight in 2020 that was diverted to Kigali.

Reportedly in fragile health, diplomats have told the AFP that he is to undergo medical checks and rest before flying to the United States on Wednesday.

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