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by The Lantos Foundation
The Keeper

Episode 19: Rule of Law Season – The Real Story of Kagame’s Rwanda


For the fifth episode of our Rule of Law Season, we speak with journalist and author Anjan Sundaram to help us understand what is happening with the rule of law in Rwanda. The country is often held up as a democratic success story in Africa, as it has achieved stability and prosperity over the last 25 years since the horrific genocide of 1994. But Anjan explains that the real story is very different, and he speaks from very personal experience. He moved to Kigali, Rwanda in 2009 and began teaching journalism to Rwandan reporters – and then, one by one, his students began to run into a series of misfortunes that couldn’t have been mere coincidence. Anjan came to realize that he was witnessing the fall of free speech and the rise of President Paul Kagame’s dictatorship in Rwanda. Anjan speaks about the impact of Kagame’s authoritarian regime on the everyday lives of Rwandans, the brazen ways in which he stifles any dissent, and how western countries have actually emboldened Kagame to consolidate his power. He also discusses the Rwandan government’s kidnapping of human rights hero Paul Rusesabagina and the show trial he faces in Kigali, and he explains what it will mean for any critics of President Kagame going forward.

Anjan Sundaram Official Website

“Rwanda’s Rendition of a Hollywood Hero Confirms the Country’s Descent into Dictatorship”, by Anjan Sundaram in Foreign Policy

“I Think I May Die Tonight”, excerpt from Bad News by Anjan Sundaram in Foreign Policy

Bad News: Last Journalists in a Dictatorship by Anjan Sundaram

YouTube: Rwanda paid for the flight that led to Paul Rusesabagina arrest – UpFront

The Daily: A Battle for the Soul of Rwanda

A Tribute to Paul Rusesabagina by Congressman Tom Lantos (July 25, 2005)

Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation - #FreeRusesabagina

This season of The Keeper was made possible with the generous support of Ambassador April H. Foley, who served as the United States Ambassador to Hungary from 2006 -2009.

This episode is also supported by four distinguished professors from the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law:

Professor John Greabe, Director of the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership & Public Service.

Professor Albert “Buzz” Scherr, Chair of the International Criminal Law and Justice Program and former Director of the State Department Rule of Law Project in Northern Russia.

Professor Robert E. McDaniel, a former U.S. Federal Prosecutor in Washington, DC, former Head of Legal Affairs for the OSCE in the Republic of Kosovo and now a faculty member in the International Criminal Law and Justice Program.

Judge Arthur Gajarsa, who joined the faculty as Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence after retiring from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.


Episode 5

Season 4

by The Lantos Foundation