Foley Foundation Welcomes Release of Paul Rusesabagina

WASHINGTON, DC – The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation welcomes the release of Paul Rusesabagina from detention in Rwanda. Mr. Rusesabagina, who is internationally renowned for sheltering and saving over 1,200 people at the outbreak of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, as captured in the 2004 film “Hotel Rwanda,” has been imprisoned in Rwanda since 2020.

“Releasing Paul has been an extraordinary diplomatic effort spanning four continents and countless hours of advocacy,” said James W. Foley Legacy Foundation Founder and President Diane Foley. “We thank National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens for their leadership and relentless diplomacy and thank the governments of Qatar and Belgium for helping facilitate dialogue with the government of Rwanda in support of this resolution. Paul’s release also highlights the vital work of third-party advocates, attorneys, and experts like Ali Soufan and conveners of the recent Global Security Forum in Doha in helping bring Americans home. We are deeply relieved and grateful that Paul will soon be reunited with his beloved family, including his daughters Carine and Anaise Kanimba, who have worked tirelessly to bring their father home safely and swiftly.”

“This week has seen important breakthroughs in U.S. hostage and detainee diplomacy, with first Jeff Woodke and now Paul Rusesabagina coming home,” continued Ms. Foley. “As we celebrate their safe returns, we also continue to urge the U.S. government to prioritize the return of all Americans who are being held hostage or unjustly detained overseas.”

In advocating for the release of all US nationals held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad, the Foundation stresses the importance of dialogue and negotiation with captors and the power of collaboration with nongovernment experts, government officials and strategic partners.