Written Question: Detention of human rights activist Paul Rusesabagina

(Source: European Parliament)

Date submitted: 26 February 2021

Question for written answer E-001160/2021/rev.1
to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Rule 138
Idoia Villanueva Ruiz (The Left)

Subject: Detention of human rights activist Paul Rusesabagina

Paul Rusesabagina, a Rwandan human rights activist and political dissident, known internationally for saving more than 1200 people in his hotel during the 1994 genocide, has been detained in his home country since 31 August 2020 on terrorism charges. Although he has dual Belgian and Rwandan citizenship, the Rwandan authorities do not recognise the former. He was arrested in Dubai and taken to Rwanda against his will. In addition to the lack of legal guarantees in his trial, the poor conditions of his imprisonment and lack of access to medicines mean that his health is deteriorating by the day.

  1. How has the Vice-President/High Representative made his voice heard and what action has he taken in relation to these events?
  2. Is the VP/HR considering calling for the immediate release of Paul Rusesabagina? How will the VP/HR help to ensure that the Rwandan authorities respect his human rights, in particular his right to life and health?
  3. What is the Union doing to promote human rights, democracy and political pluralism in Rwanda, and what guarantees are there that the European funds earmarked for Rwanda are serving these objectives?
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