Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Rwanda / Genocide Denial

US Lawyer is Jailed in Rwanda as Genocide Denier
Austin American-Statesman (from the Chicago Tribune), May 30, 2010
"A US attorney has been arrested in Rwanda for allegedly denying genocide, and his family is working with lawmakers stateside and abroad to secure his release. Peter Erlinder, 62, a law professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn., traveled to Rwanda on May 23 to help defend opposition presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire against charges of promoting genocidal ideology, his daughter, Sarah Erlinder said. About 800,000 people were killed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Ingabire aims to unseat Rwandan President Paul Kagame in the Aug. 9 elections. Erlinder was arrested Friday at his hotel in Rwanda's capital, Kigali, his daughter said. She said she hasn't been able to speak to her father.
A local Rwandan attorney and a U.S. attorney were able to see Erlinder on Saturday, but they were denied access Sunday, then told to pay up if they wanted Erlinder to continue to eat in jail, Sarah Erlinder said. 'I think that this actually has very little to do with 1994 and the genocide and much more to do with representing unpopular opinions and people, opinions that are outside of the official government line,' said Sarah Erlinder, 29, who lives in Flagstaff, Ariz. Peter Erlinder started working as a defense attorney for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 2003, his daughter said. He also runs the Rwanda Documents Project website, where he publishes articles and commentaries critical of the Kagame government."
[n.b. This is the complete text of the dispatch.]

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