Rwanda has deported Belgian lawyer Vincent Lurquin for violation of his tourist visa.
The Belgian lawyer of Paul Rusesabagina, the “Hotel Rwanda” hero turned government critic, has been deported from Rwanda for what authorities said was a breach of immigration law.
Lurquin arrogantly showed up in court on Friday, dressed up in a lawyer’s gown, as one of Paul Rusesabagina’s lawyers yet he is not licensed to practice in Rwanda.
The deportation on Saturday came just a day after a verdict was delayed in a high-profile trial of Rusesabagina, who the government accuses of supporting terrorism.
According to the Rwandan authorities, lawyer Vincent Lurquin entered the country on Monday with a tourist visa. On Friday, he then acted as a lawyer for Rusesabagina, before the court of Kigali. “His visa allows him to visit the country, but not to work there,” the Directorate-General for Migration in Rwanda told AFP.
Lurquin was put on a flight around 8:40 p.m. local time and is no longer allowed to enter the country, the directorate-general said. Lurquin was already Rusesabagina’s lawyer when he was still in Belgium – the man also has Belgian nationality – but he did not officially represent him in this process. Rusesabagina was represented there by a Rwandan lawyer. “He has not been able to choose his lawyer himself for a year, which is an elementary right,” the Brussels lawyer told AFP. He also regrets that he was not allowed access to the prison where his client is staying.