As many of you know Camp Darfur and the i-ACT team travel to Minnesota and partner with World Without Genocide at least twice a year. Recently we received news that Peter Erlinder, a Minnesota Professor of Law at William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, was arrested on May 28 in Kigali, Rwanda on charges of genocide denial. He had traveled to Rwanda to defend a candidate, arrested on similar charges, who is opposing President Paul Kagame in Rwanda’s upcoming presidential elections.
Erlinder, a lawyer at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, was refused bail at a recent hearing. He must wait 30 days in jail before his trail. Human Rights observers say that his accused crime of “genocide denial” and his clients crime, promoting genocidal ideology, are used by the government as a catch-all to criminalize political opposition.
The U.S. State Department is asking the Rwandan government to free Erlinder. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said earlier today that U.S. officials are monitoring Erlinder’s situation and they have been in touch with officials in Rwanda.
We must support their action by contacting our leader.
Please make two important calls today. The first to the State Department, and the second to your U.S. Senators asking for US involvement in Professor Erlinder’s case.
1. State Department: 202-647-4000
2. Click here to Find your Senators direct information or simply dial 1 800 GENOCIDE, enter your zip code and ask to be connected to your Senator.