Rwanda’s government has accused Paul Rusesabagina, the Rwandan exile played by actor Don Cheadle in the movie Hotel Rwanda, of being a “revisionist” who “harbors the Double Genocide Theory.”
A “revisionist,” in Rwanda, is someone who dares to challenge the received history of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. The “Double Genocide Theory” is the belief that Hutus, as well as Tutsis, were victims of genocidal violence in 1994.
The Rwanda New Times reported, on March 12th, that the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda had ruled that Paul Rusesabagina’s testimony was “not an absolute necessity” at the trial of former ruling party official Joseph Nzirorera.
The New Times also reported that:
Deogene Bideri, a senior official at the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), equated Rusesabagina’s actions to those of the accused. “Rusesabagina’s actions have made it clear that he is a revisionist and he harbors the Double Genocide Ideology.”
Theodore Simburudari, the president of Ibuka, an umbrella organization of Genocide survivors’ associations, said that for Nzirorera to ask Rusesabagina to be his witness, is evidence in itself that both men have in their agenda, spreading the Double Genocide Ideology
Much of the world’s emotional response to the 1994 Rwanda Genocide has been shaped by the Hollywood movie Hotel Rwanda. At its end, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) Army, led by General Paul Kagame appear as heroes to end the bloodshed, as the movie’s hero, Paul Rusesabagina, departs from a Rwandan refugee camp with his family.
The movie makes no mention of the many political and legal scholars, journalists, and human rights investigators contesting the received history of the genocide, including University of Notre Dame Professor Christian Davenport and University of Michigan Professor Alan Stam, who, after many years of study, interviews with survivors, and statistical analysis, concluded that :
-a million people died,
-the vast majority of those who died were not Tutsi, but Hutu,
-American, French and Belgian leaders, including Bill Clinton and the CIA, knew what was happening every day as the massacres continued and
-current Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a U.S. ally trained at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, is guilty of war crimes of an extraordinary scale.
(Professors Stam and Davenport’s passports to Rwanda have both been revoked.)
Nor does the movie mention Kagame’s training at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the Pentagon arming his Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) army, or, the victory of the U.S., UK, and Anglophone interests, over those of France, won by the RPF, as described by Professor Michel Chussodovsky, in his Global Research report “Rwanda: Installing a U.S. Protectorate in Central Africa.”
Indeed, the movie ends with this message:
The genocide ended in July 1994., when the Tutsi rebels [Kagame’s RPF militia] drove the Hutu army and the interahamwe militia across the border into the Congo. They left behind almost a million corpses.
It might therefore seem like good public relations for Kagame and his ruling RPF Party to remain on good terms, at least publicly, with Paul Rusesabagina, the real life hero of Hotel Rwanda, which is based on his autobiography, An Ordinary Man.
Instead, they have accused him of “revisionism” and “harboring the Double Genocide Theory.”
Kagame and the RPF are coming under more and more international pressure to hold a real presidential election this year, as reported by the London Independent on March 15th, in Rwanda’s Democratic Credentials Under Fire.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Campaign to Protect Journalists, the Global Greens, theEuropean Green Free Alliance, the African Faith and Social Justice Network, and U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, D-WI, Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Africa, have all called for civil and political rights and a free and fair election, but authorities continue to deny two of the three major opposition parties permits to convene, register, or field candidates.
On March 12, the Hotel Rwanda/Rusesabagina Foundation joined the list, issuing a press release that “condemns election related violence in Rwanda, and calls for real democratic activity to be allowed.”
Authorities nevertheless continue to threaten the FDU-Inkingi Party’s candidate, Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza, and the Parti Social-Imberakuri’s candidate, Bernard Ntaganda, with incarceration for the same offenses that Kagame’s government accuses Paul Rusesabagina of—-“revisionism” and the “Double Genocide Theory.”
Both are speech crimes under the Rwandan Constitution ratified in 2003 and Rwanda’s “genocide ideology” statutes passed in 2008.