The US State Department Negligent in Peter Erlinder’s Case

When president Obama was running for president, he repeatedly said that “Washington is broken”. Today, Washington is still broken in spite of a year and a half of Obama’s administration. In fact, you may argue that it may be more broken than it was during the previous administration.

Consider the case of Professor Peter Erlinder, a William Mitchell College of Law professor who went to Rwanda as a hired attorney for presidential hopeful Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza.  After a week in the country, Erlinder was arrested and accused of the same crimes as his client. Mind you, Erlinder’s alleged crimes were committed outside of Rwanda. Due to the conditions of the prison in Rwanda, Erlinder has  gotten ill and the Rwandan government may be cooking up a plan to assassinate him. That seems the only way out with a small victory for the Rwandan government as the charges against Erlinder are weak at best.

The US State Department and the US Embassy in Rwanda have been negligent at best. Below is the State Department’s response to Erlinder’s case in a press briefing yesterday:

“QUESTION: Do you have any update on the status of this American lawyer who was arrested in Rwanda? There are some reports that he tried to kill himself in prison this morning.

MR. CROWLEY: I can’t say.

QUESTION: And apparently, his wife or his family is trying to – is seeking a meeting here at the State Department.

MR. CROWLEY: All I can tell you is that we have visited and spoken with Peter Erlinder. He was taken to the hospital this morning and remained there overnight for observation. His U.S. and Rwandan attorneys have had access to him and we expect that due process will be accorded by the Rwandans in a timely and transparent way.

QUESTION: Do you know why he was taken to the hospital?

MR. CROWLEY: I do not.”

The State Department and the embassy are happy to allow Rwanda to jail an American citizen without charges, and the US representatives in Rwanda are hugging the jailers and doing nothing to secure the release of their constituent. The Obama administration and espicially the State Department must step up their game and demand the release of professor Erlinder or else explain how hundreds of millions of dollars of American taxpayers spent on Kagame’s dictatorial regime, the North Korea of Africa, are being used to imprison and possibly kill American citizens.

4 responses to “The US State Department Negligent in Peter Erlinder’s Case

  1. “A Rwandan judge has charged a U.S. lawyer with denying Rwanda’s 1994 genocide and publishing articles that threaten the country’s security.
    Peter Erlinder pleaded not guilty to the charges during a five-hour court hearing late Friday in the Rwandan capital, Kigali”.

    I don’t think Obama administration has done enough to release this lawyer from the Rwanda prison or grave. Rwanda prison is like a tomb or grave. It is very hard for any civilized person to stay there for more than one day. The conditions in there are very, very bad. When you are there you think it is the end of the world.

    I don’t think Peter Erlinder could plead guilty, guilty of what!!! He is innocent; he had freedom of speech and expression when he was outside Rwanda. Whatever he said about Rwanda genocide, he was not in Rwanda at that time and therefore Rwanda justice no any single power to pursue him.

    Apart from that Rwanda genocide is very complicated because not only Tutsi were killed but also Hutu. rwandan people need open debate about it . It was the civil war that ended by genocide. There are victims in all tribes. The issue is that members of Hutu tribe are not even allowed to remember their family member killed in genocide. If anyone such as Erlinder or any Rwandan writes or speaks about this matter, he is considered as genocide denial by kagame administration just in order to keep power. and his shows inequalities between Rwandan.

    I glad he(Peter) is still alive I think this is because people, who know kagame administration, declared the use of poison to kill people before any attempt to kill him. They have used the poison from the past, they have used medical staff as well to kill some potential opponents (Hutu or sometimes Tutsi) and still use the same weapons (poison).

    I do still think Peter Erlinder has survived or the plan was there.

  2. The Problem of Rwanda is not ony the genocide which took place, but the hidding of the truth around it. As long as Kagame will continue to be covered by USA and UK, Rwandan tragedy will not find a happy end issue.
    Kagame must be prosecuted along with other killers from both side to make Rwanda a stable and reconciled country.

  3. Lawyer in Oshawa

    I really love this blog… Such great posts all the time!

  4. It is becoming obvious that Barack Obama’s rise to Presidency was a strategic calculation by those corporations controlling the western governments to take over Africa. Many African young men are being encouraged to join rapid response armies to be deployed to guard regions in Africa where resources are exploited. Apparently, Paul Kagame, James Kabarebe and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are deeply involved in the conscription African young men to camouflage the western natural resources agenda and the genocide associated with that agenda in the African continent. Many African ruling elites seem to have signed on to be under AFRICOM! I wonder who the enemy is!

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=31578&Cr=unamid&Cr1=

    http://www.acoc-africa.org/news.php

    http://www.malawi.gov.mw/story.php?id=131

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