1994. In Rwanda, the classification of the native population into Hutus and Tutsis, arbitrarily done by the colonial Belgians, is now ingrained within Rwandan mentality despite the Rwandan independence. Despite the Belgians having placed the Tutsis in a higher position during the Belgian rule, they have placed the majority Hutus in power after independence. Paul Rusesabagina , a Hutu married to a Tutsi, Tatiana Rusesabagina, is the House Manager of the Hotel Des Milles Collines in Kigali. The Milles Collines, owned by Sabena (the national airline of Belgium), is a four-star hotel catering primarily to wealthy white westerners. Paul, who knows how to work the system to run the hotel effectively for its guests and for Sabena, is proud that most of the Caucasians who he meets in this professional capacity treat him with respect. After a specific incident, the relative calm between the Tutsi guerrillas and government-backed Hutu militia takes a turn. Paul's thought that the native ... Written by Huggo
As ethnic Hutus began killing their Tutsi neighbors, Rusesabaginaa Hutu married to a Tutsi womanturned his hotel into an impromptu refugee camp for more than a thousand terrified Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Deserted by international peacekeepers, Rusesabagina began cashing in every favor he had ever earned, bribing the Rwandan Hutu soldiers and keeping the bloodthirsty militia (mostly) outside the gates during the hundred days of slaughter.
In the end, he survived along with his wife and three children, as did most of the refugees he sheltered.
Now his heroic story is recounted in Hotel Rwanda, a gripping account of a genocide that claimed an estimated 800,000 lives, mainly Tutsis but also many moderate Hutus.
The movie, which opens in limited release in the United States on December 22, has received some Oscar buzz, especially for Don Cheadle's performance as Rusesabagina.
Amnesty International has hosted several screenings for Hotel Rwanda to raise awareness for another genocide, one that is still unfolding: the conflict in Darfur, Sudan.
Last week, at the premiere in Beverly Hills, Rusesabagina received Amnesty's "Enduring Spirit" award. After the screening, the rotund former hotel manager, who now runs a trucking business in Belgium, appeared decidedly modest about the film's potential to stir the public's consciousness.
"All we want to do is to show what happened," he said, "so that ten years later, people can at least know what it was and how it was."
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The constitution was adopted following a national referendum in 2003, replacing the transitional constitution which had been in place since 1994.  The constitution mandates a multi-party system of government, with politics based on democracy and elections.  However, the constitution places conditions on how political parties may operate. Article 54 states that "political organizations are prohibited from basing themselves on race, ethnic group, tribe, clan, region, sex, religion or any other division which may give rise to discrimination".  The government has also enacted laws criminalising genocide ideology, which can include intimidation, defamatory speeches, genocide denial and mocking of victims.  According to Human Rights Watch , these laws effectively make Rwanda a one-party state, as "under the guise of preventing another genocide, the government displays a marked intolerance of the most basic forms of dissent".  Amnesty International is also critical; in its 2014/15 report Amnesty said that laws against inciting insurrection or trouble among the population had been used to imprison people "for the legitimate exercise of their rights to freedom of association or of expression".