Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch



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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


Thursday, October 21, 2010

St. Paul attorney facing denial-of-genocide charges in Rwanda

By BOB VON STERNBERG,
A St. Paul law professor jailed last spring in Rwanda will be criminally charged with denying the genocide that devastated that country in the early 1990s.
Rwanda's chief prosecutor, Martin Ngoga, said Peter Erlinder will be charged with denying the genocide. Erlinder, a law professor at the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul was arrested in May and was released in June on bail.
Ngoga made his remarks in Arusha, Tanzania, where the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is based.
Erlinder, 62, is a well-known human rights lawyer who represented Victoire Ingabire, a Hutu leader who unsuccessfully challenged President Paul Kagame in last August's 9 elections.
Ingabire was arrested in April on a charge similar to Erlinder's -- denying the genocide of the nation's Tutsis.
Erlinder declined to comment specifically on the report that he would be charged, but said "the implications are huge" if it occurs.
As head of the defense attorneys for the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which has tried Rwanda's genocide crimes, Erlinder said such a prosecution "means defense lawyers are massively exposed."
More than 500,000 Rwandans, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were massacred by Hutus during the 1994 genocide. Erlinder contends it's inaccurate to blame one side. He believes Rwandan authorities intended to make him disappear when he was arrested but his contact with a U.S. diplomat saved him.
Earlier this year, Erlinder helped file suit in U.S. federal court alleging that Kagame helped incite the violence that triggered the genocide. He also has raised questions about Kagame's complicity during his work before the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal, which is weighing Rwandan war crimes.
Erlinder was imprisoned for 21 days before Rwandan officials released him and allowed him to fly home.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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