U.S. lawyer thanks Clinton for getting him out of Rwandan prison

American lawyer Peter Erlinder thanked Secretary Clinton yesterday for getting him out of a Rwandan prison by saying that Rwanda shouldn’t arrest lawyers. Erlinder, seen above at a June 20 news conference after his release, was detained in Rwanda on allegations that he was minimizing the country’s 1994 genocide, which is prohibited under Rwandan law. ...

STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

American lawyer Peter Erlinder thanked Secretary Clinton yesterday for getting him out of a Rwandan prison by saying that Rwanda shouldn't arrest lawyers.

Erlinder, seen above at a June 20 news conference after his release, was detained in Rwanda on allegations that he was minimizing the country's 1994 genocide, which is prohibited under Rwandan law. Erlinder was in Rwanda to defend opposition leader Victoire Ingabir, who was arrested in April and charged with challenging aspects of the genocide. Controversially, Erlinder said yesterday that there might be enough evidence to show that more ethnic Hutus died than Tutsis. The accepted view is that of the 800,000 people killed over 100 days, most were Tutsis who perished at the hands of Hutus.

For more background on this case, check out FP's interview with Erlinder's daughter, Sarah Erlinder. Also, read about how as Rwanda becomes more authoritarian, neighbor Burundi experiments with its own unqiue brand of African democracy.

American lawyer Peter Erlinder thanked Secretary Clinton yesterday for getting him out of a Rwandan prison by saying that Rwanda shouldn’t arrest lawyers.

Erlinder, seen above at a June 20 news conference after his release, was detained in Rwanda on allegations that he was minimizing the country’s 1994 genocide, which is prohibited under Rwandan law. Erlinder was in Rwanda to defend opposition leader Victoire Ingabir, who was arrested in April and charged with challenging aspects of the genocide. Controversially, Erlinder said yesterday that there might be enough evidence to show that more ethnic Hutus died than Tutsis. The accepted view is that of the 800,000 people killed over 100 days, most were Tutsis who perished at the hands of Hutus.

For more background on this case, check out FP‘s interview with Erlinder’s daughter, Sarah Erlinder. Also, read about how as Rwanda becomes more authoritarian, neighbor Burundi experiments with its own unqiue brand of African democracy.

Sounds like Clinton is defending people’s right to free expression, even if they say highly controversial things.

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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