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Uploaded on Aug 15, 2010
Peter Erlinder was asked, at the August 3rd Press Briefing on Rwanda's Sham Presidential Elections, a question about if he believes that the Rwandan genocide was planned.
Note: The person who asked the question is a Congolese tutsi. Surprisingly, he was in the room addressing Peter Erlinder as a Rwandan.
Professor Peter Erlinder was amongst the speakers at the press briefing on August 3rd before the Rwandan "Sham" Presidential Elections of August 9th. He shared with the audience his work as an ICTR lawyer and his current case with the Rwandan justice system.
Peter Erlinder is a law professor at William Mitchell College of Law, lead defense attorney for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (I.C.T.R.), and President of the I.C.T.R. defense lawyers association. The I.C.T.R. was set up by the United Nations Security Council in 1994 to prosecute war criminal for the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He recently spent three weeks in jail in Rwanda where he was to represent his client Mrs. Victoire Ingabire, an opposition leader currently under house arrest and charged with genocide ideology among other things.
Paul Rusesabagina, Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation (sent written statement due to medical reasons)
Peter Erlinder, International Humanitarian Law Institute of Minnesota, William Mitchell College of Law
Pascal Kalinganire, Organization for Peace, Justice and Development in Rwanda and Great Lakes Region (OPJDR)
Claude Gatebuke, Rwandan genocide survivor and activist
Rwandan Elections: Implications for Peace and Stability in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region
A call for Change in US Policy from Supporting Strongmen to Supporting Strong Institutions
President Obama said, in his 2009 speech in Accra, Ghana, that America should support strong institutions and not strong men. However in the case of Rwanda, this has been no more than rhetoric. Rwandans, like most Africans, cheered Obama's election, hoping that it might signal a new, more peaceful and cooperative relationship between the U.S. and Africa, but Obama has expanded AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command, and now he remains silent as Rwanda's strongman, President Paul Kagame, prepares a sham presidential election to retain his brutal grip on power.
We are calling on President Obama and the U.S. State Department not to recognize the legitimacy of Rwanda's upcoming August 9th election results and to stop militarizing Africa and supporting repressive regimes.
Who: International Humanitarian Law Institute of Minnesota, William Mitchell College of Law, Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, Foundation for Freedom and Democracy in Rwanda, Foreign Policy In Focus, Africa Faith and Justice Network, Africa Action, Friends of the Congo, Mobilization for Justice and Peace in Congo, Shalupe Foundation, Chicago Congo Coalition and Organization for Peace, Justice and Development in Rwanda and Great Lakes Region (OPJDR).