The Bottom Line

What is the US doing about its citizens detained abroad?

Rwandan activist and US resident Paul Rusesabagina was freed from jail and allowed to return to Texas after White House intervention.

Correction, 30/03/2023: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Rusesabagina was given a 25-year sentence for his membership in an armed group in Kenya, instead of Rwanda.

Paul Rusesabagina is considered a hero by many for sheltering hundreds of Rwandans during the 1994 genocide. His story inspired the 2004 Hollywood film, Hotel Rwanda.

But in Rwanda, his membership in an armed group landed him a 25-year sentence on terrorism charges, and he spent more than two years in jail in his homeland.

Diplomatic intervention by the United States resulted in a commutation of his sentence this month, and now Rusesabagina – who is a US permanent resident – is back with his family in the state of Texas.

On The Bottom Line, host Steve Clemons asks Joshua Geltzer, the deputy homeland security adviser, about the Biden administration’s efforts to assist dozens of Americans jailed abroad.