Criminal Justice

US Law Prof to Be Charged in Rwanda with Genocide Denial


Rwanda’s top prosecutor wants a professor from William Mitchell College of law to appear in a Rwandan court and face charges of genocide denial, the Associated Press reported. Professor Peter Erlinder declined to comment to the news organization.

Prosecutor Martin Ngoga made the announcement in Arusha, Tanzania, the location of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the AP reported.

The basis of the charge is Erlinder’s allegation in court documents that members of Rwanda’s current government shot down a presidential plane in 1994, setting off the genocide of more than 500,000 Rwandans, mostly ethnic Tutsis. Erlinder was first jailed in May but was released on bail and allowed to return to the United States in June because of concerns about his health; he was hospitalized four times while in custody. He had been in Rwanda defending presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire against promoting charges of genocidal ideology. Ingabire was detained by Rwandan police last week, BBC News reported at the time. Police said she was implicated in charges against an ex-commander of a Hutu militia group, and she still faces the genocide denial charges.

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