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US condemns ‘wrongful’ conviction of real life ‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero, Paul Rusesabagina

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The United States has condemned what it described as the wrongful sentencing and conviction of famous real life “Hotel Rwanda” hero, Paul Rusesabagina, who was found guilty of war crimes in the 1994 Rwandan genocide and jailed for 25 years by a Kigali court

The US Department of State, while condemning the “wrongful detention” of Rusesabagina who holds a US permanent residence and Belgian citizenship, also denounced President Paul Kagame, calling him a dictator.

“The Department of State has said that Paul Rusesabagina is wrongfully detained. The determination took into account the totality of the circumstances, notably the lack of fair trial guarantees during his trial.”

Rusesabagina came into international spotlight when he was depicted in an award winning Hollywood film “Hotel Rwanda”, providing shelter for hundreds of ethnic Tutsis during the genocide in a hotel.

At the time of the crisis, Rusesabagina was a Kigali hotel manager and was credited with saving hundreds of lives during the genocide, with his actions inspiring the “Hotel Rwanda” movie.

However, the Rwandan government says he was one of the masterminds and sponsors of the genocide.

Rusesabagina, a cancer survivor, has been behind bars since he was arrested in August 2020 when a plane he believed was bound for Burundi landed instead in Kigali.

He was convicted in September 2021 of involvement in a rebel group blamed for deadly gun, grenade and arson attacks in Rwanda in 2018 and 2019, and last month, the 67-year-old was found guilty of terrorism charges and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Rusesabagina’s family recently filed a $400 million lawsuit in the United States against Kagame, the Rwandan government and other figures for allegedly abducting and torturing him.

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Malian migrants, including children, die as makeshift Europe-bound boat capsizes in Libya

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Twenty-two Malian migrants including three children, have been killed when their makeshift Europe-bound boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, the United Nations as well as the Malian government have confirmed on Wednesday.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), also confirmed that 61 other migrants were rescued and taken to a detention centre in Libya.

The Ministry of Malians Abroad, in a statement, said the people who died were part of a group of 83 mostly Malian nationals who were stuck on a distressed vessel since June 22.

The IOM, in statement by its spokeswoman Safa Msehli, said the rescued victims were brought back to shore with the help of the Libyan coastguard after nine days at sea, adding that the “cause of death for the 22 people was drowning and dehydration.”

Msehli also said some of the survivors were in very poor health and had to be taken to hospital by the IOM.

“The remaining migrants were taken to al-Maya detention centre” in Libya, she said.

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Monkeypox: WHO records over 6,000 cases in 58 countries in recent outbreak

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According to the World Health Organization, more than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported from 58 countries in the current outbreak.

The United Nations agency is yet to decide declaring the outbreak a global health emergency, the WHO’s highest level of alert.

Its committee reconvene a meeting in July 18 to decide or sooner.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference from Geneva.

Monkeypox, a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, has also penetrated Europe and North America in its recent spread with more than 100 cases recorded outside Africa.

The UN committee meeting in June 27 decided that the disease was not yet a health emergency. There have recently been reported cases in other African countries like Nigeria and Morocco.

“I continue to be concerned by the scale and spread of the virus across the world,” Tedros said, adding that a lack of testing meant that there were likely many more cases going unreported.

Until recently, monkeypox had been a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, but has gradually penetrating Europe and North America in its recent outbreak.

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