Thursday, November 25, 2010

“WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE”: ERLINDER REJECTS SUICIDAL RETURN TO RWANDA

NEWS ADVISORY
November 24, 2010

Contact:
International Humanitarian Law Institute
Prof. Peter Erlinder, Director
c/o Wm. Mitchell College of Law
875 Summit Av.
St. Paul, MN 55105 USA
651-290-6384/peter.erlinder@wmitchell.edu

St. Paul, MN-USA -- According to high-level Rwandan officials at a meeting in Kigali in mid-October, President Kagame ordered that IHLI Director and WMCL law professor Peter Erlinder be brought back to Rwanda “dead or alive.” Former members of the government, now in exile, reported that Kagame said “Erlinder’s release was a mistake” and that he, and Paul Rusesabagina of Hotel Rwanda fame, were responsible for drawing worldwide attention to the detailed in a 600-page UN report released Oct. 1, that exposes the role of Kagame’s RPF in the Congo “genocide” 1993-2003.

The confidential source of the threats against Erlinder has been reported to federal and local law enforcement, as well as to the State Department. Regarding a return to Rwanda under these circumstances, Erlinder said:

On October 6, the UN Tribunal for Rwanda declared the prosecution against me illegal under UN immunity rules, and I have no obligation to answer an illegal prosecution. Since my illegal arrest, UN reports of mass-murder by the Kagame regime in Rwanda and the Congo, as well as assassinations and trumped-up prosecutions of Kagame’s opponents, make clear that returning to Rwanda would be suicide for anyone Kagame considers a threat to his absolute power…

Nearly all opposition leaders have been arrested, or killed in the past four months. The Rwandan government’s New Times, reported last week that Rusesabagina’s Hotel Rwanda Foundation was part of an Obama administration and UN conspiracy to discredit the Kagame regime. Last year Rwanda’s Ambassador publicly accused career State Department officer and former Ambassador to Rwanda, Robert Flaten, of supplying “guns to the genocidaires” at a meeting organized by Rev. Jesse Jackson.

According to Erlinder:

As Kagame’s “enemies-list” grows, the accusations take on the stench of desperation which only makes the regime all the more dangerous….anywhere in the world, and I must take the death threats seriously. UN documents in evidence at the UN Tribunal show Kagame is responsible for the Rwandan genocide already and RPF culpability for 6-million deaths in the Congo is now public too. A regime capable of these crimes is capable of eliminating its opponents anywhere it can reach them.

If Professor Erlinder is prosecuted a second time, Rwanda will only further confirm the importance of the “Rwanda Genocide Papers” he has put into evidence at the UN Tribunal for Rwanda that expose the role of Kagame and the RPF in the “Rwandan genocide” and provide further credibility to the threat the documents pose to the legitimacy of Africa’s most bloody dictatorship.

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