Tuesday, June 8, 2010
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Rwanda Mission to the UN
124 East 39th Street
New York, NY
PROTEST TO FREE PETER ERLINDER!
Sponsored by the National Lawyers Guild New York City Chapter
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to endorse the call and protest.
The National Lawyers Guild New York City Chapter (NLG-NYC) demands the immediate release of former NLG president, Professor Peter Erlinder, whom Rwandan Police arrested on May 28, 2010 on charges of “genocide ideology.” He had traveled to Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, on May 23, to join the defense team of Rwandan presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and the charges stem from the vigorous legal representation he is obligated to provide as a defense attorney. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on Friday, June 4 at a hearing in Kigali.
Erlinder has been interrogated at the Rwandan Police Force’s Kacyiru headquarters and has been hospitalized twice since his detention. The NLG-NYC is extremely concerned for the safety and well-being of Professor Erlinder. His family has still not had any direct contact with him since his arrest.
Erlinder traveled to Kigali after attending the Second International Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Conference in Brussels. Since his arrival in Kigali, the state-sponsored Rwandan media has been highly critical of Erlinder.
The Rwandan Parliament adopted the “Law Relating to the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Ideology” (Genocide Ideology Law), on July 23, 2008. It defines genocide ideology broadly, requires no link to any genocidal act, and can be used to include a wide range of legitimate forms of expression, prohibiting speech protected by international conventions such as the Genocide Convention of 1948 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966.
Professor Erlinder is a professor of law at the William Mitchell College of Law. He is a frequent litigator and consultant, often pro bono, in cases involving the death penalty, civil rights, claims of government and police misconduct, and criminal defense of political activists. He is also a frequent news commentator. Erlinder was president of the National Lawyers Guild from 1993-1997, and is a current board member of the NLG Foundation. He has been a defense attorney at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda since 2003.
The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.
Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch
Welcome to Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:http://www.rwandadocumentsproject.net/gsdl/cgi-bin/library