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Cynthia McKinney: Rwanda, release Professor Peter Erlinder

June 13, 2010

Urgent need for a high profile international campaign to release Professor Peter Erlinder, an eminent voice for international peace who stands uncompromisingly for justice for all

Free Peter Erlinder Paul Kagame from DRCongo.tv on Vimeo. – Video by Moe Kasomo

The jailing in Rwanda of attorney Peter Erlinder, who went there to represent Victoire Ingabire, President Kagame’s leading opponent in the August presidential election, has sparked debates about the credibility of the Rwandan government. Here, Cynthia McKinney is writing to fellow associates of the Brussels War Crimes Tribunal in response to a message from Christian Scherrer, who describes himself as a genocide scholar, has investigated genocide in Rwanda and is a professor of peace studies at the Hiroshima Peace Institute of Hiroshima City University in Japan. Scroll down for more appeals to free Erlinder, from the National Lawyers Guild and the Africa Faith and Justice Network and recommendations on how you can help.

by Cynthia McKinney

Cynthia McKinney
I am sorry to have to take time away from caring for my father to deal with this, but I will. For reference, I have included the most knowledgeable non-Great Lakes residents on this planet about Mr. Kagame and the Rwandan regime and the case of Mr. Erlinder. I would like to beg your pardon in advance for what I am about to say and how I will say it. However, since Mr. Scherrer started it by calling my name out publicly, I will now set the record straight: Sadly, Christian Scherrer has taken on the sounds of a two-bit shill rather than those of a truth seeker and truth teller.

As for the truth, there are none more knowledgeable on this subject than Charles Onana, Wayne Madsen, Keith Harmon Snow, and lawyers Jordi Palau and Michael Hourigan.

Let me begin with Charles Onana: Charles has written the essential book on the act of terror that resulted in the downing of a plane containing the democratically elected presidents of both Rwanda and Burundi. In that book, Charles named Kagame as the mastermind and organizer on the ground, in conjunction with non-African powers (as is usually the case on The Continent) of the terrorist act that resulted in what has become known as the “Rwandan Genocide.” Kagame sued Charles in French court for defamation and lost the case. I worked closely with Charles during my days in Congress and during the time of his book and the case in France. It was through Charles that I met Victoire (Ingabire), the presidential candidate jailed by Kagame and who was represented by Erlinder.

Wayne Madsen also wrote a book about the U.S. use of proxies in Africa, of which Kagame is the most important now that Jonas Savimbi is dead. Wayne testified for me in Congress on the situation in the Great Lakes and is extremely knowledgeable about the nature of the Kagame regime.

Keith Harmon Snow travels to the region often and testified for me in Congress at the most comprehensive Congressional briefing ever held on Capitol Hill and one that is well known to region watchers. Keith has written extensively on the Kagame regime and its ties to the U.S.

Jodi Palou is a Spanish attorney who secured justice in Spain’s courts by pleading for and getting an indictment for genocide against 40 of Kagame’s soldiers. The case is ongoing and the consideration of corporate complicity in genocide is next. I served as a witness in this case.

Michael Hourigan was a United Nations investigator charged with investigating the Rwandan Genocide. However, when he touched upon Paul Kagame’s role in sparking that very tragic event, he was asked to ignore critical evidence implicating certain “foreign powers” and Paul Kagame, himself. Hourigan resigned instead. He came to work on the issue with me in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill.

Peter Erlinder
Some of us also gave testimony to Judge Bruguiere, who was France’s terrorism judge at the time. Judge Bruguiere’s report traces in exacting detail the chain of possession of the missile used to kill the two African presidents that sparked the “Rwandan Genocide.”

Sadly, Christian has only discredited himself by unnecessarily singling me out in such an unprofessional, unfounded and insolent manner. Peter Erlinder is in need of all assistance the international organization for human rights lawyers can muster. He is in the hands of a murderous, brutal regime.

The message from Christian Scherrer

Please be careful. Rwanda is not a rogue state but a country which has suffered a tremendous genocide and they have been left to be slaughtered by a fascist-communalist government while the international community was watching!

Please get more on what you say in the end, “I need a few more details on his arrest,” before you alert the network into action.

Leave Cynthia out; she is accused (with some reason) to have denied genocide in Rwanda.

In short: As you know, I was there right after the genocide in the first U.N. Human Rights field operation. I have designed Rwanda’s response to genocide 1994-95, discussed it with the first post-genocide government and was supported by all U.N. orgs (organizations) in Rwanda – about seven – except one. Three years later the Rwandans started to implement my three-point proposal for re-establishing justice and accountability. The government did a huge and excellent job.

They will surely listen to me.

My advice for now: Put the international campaign on hold until we know the facts.

If you want me to find out what happened, I can find out.

And tell Cynthia (we love her) to stay out. She surely misinterprets Rwandan-U.S. relations and she knows nothing about Rwanda.

The message from Niloufer Bhagwat, leading constitutional lawyer and vice president of the Indian Association of Lawyers, to which Scherrer is responding

I am back and extremely anxious about Professor Peter Erlinder. It is very important that this (his jailing) be immediately brought to the notice of the highest (officials) at the U.N. Human Rights Council and name the government of Rwanda and its illegal activities.

Niloufer Bhagwat
As you are wholly aware, Professor Peter Erlinder is a highly respected lawyer and professor well known and well thought of within the United States, in Japan and internationally and an eminent former president of the National Lawyers Guild. Even the secretary general of the United Nations (should) be officially informed, as there is a threat to his life and this has arisen because they had sought the assistance of lawyers as volunteers for the pro bono defense of accused persons before the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda), which has led to the illegal arrest and detention of Professor Peter Erlinder.

I am aware that they requested for volunteers as I was also requested at the relevant time, but declined as I did not approve of the manner in which the Security Council was arbitrarily appointing these Special Tribunals. The arrest and intimidation of Professor Peter Erlinder and his medical condition further exposes the Security Council Tribunals as kangaroo courts witnessed by the intimidation and death of former President Milosevic to better devour the economic space of former Yugoslavia.

You are aware of the shenanigans of some of the permanent members of the Security Council both in Rwanda and in former Yugoslavia, among other regions, which led to the genocide and civil strife respectively, to camouflage the sordid reality of the interventions (for which) the so called special tribunals were established. Some of the lawyers who were requested to volunteer learned first hand as to what had happened. Peter Erlinder among others was one of them and wrote extensively on the issue; therefore the mistreatment and arrest which has led to the deterioration of his medical condition. We cannot afford to lose Peter Osamu. …

Cynthia McKinney could advise us on who would be the best person to intervene from the United States. I am sure she will advise us and assist in raising the issue in Washington. Her voice, which is respected even among her worst critics, cannot be ignored. …

The prosecutors and defense counsel at the Security Council appointed tribunals should boycott the tribunals and/or lodge a serious protest with the Security Council until Professor Peter Erlinder is released.

For news from, by and about Cynthia McKinney, former Georgia congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate, check these websites: http://dignity.ning.com/, http://www.enduswars.org, http://www.livestream.com/dignity, http://www.twitter.com/dignityaction, http://www.myspace.com/dignityaction, http://www.myspace.com/runcynthiarun, http://www.twitter.com/cynthiamckinney, http://www.facebook.com/CynthiaMcKinney and http://www.youtube.com/runcynthiarun.

The DC Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild protests the detention of attorney Peter Erlinder by Rwanda

Washington, D.C. – American law professor and former president of the National Lawyers Guild Peter Erlinder was recently arrested by Rwandan authorities and charged with “genocide negationism,” a speech crime that could carry a sentence of 25 years in prison. He traveled to Rwanda on May 23 to aid in the defense of Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, a leading opposition figure and presidential candidate. The DC chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (DC-NLG) strongly condemns this politically motivated prosecution of an attorney for vigorously defending his client and protested outside the Rwandan Embassy Tuesday, June 8.

Victoire Ingabire appears alone in a Kigali court on April 21 before she had obtained legal representation. She is the leading candidate in the election scheduled for Aug. 9 challenging Paul Kagame for the presidency of Rwanda. When she was charged with a speech crime that Kagame uses against his political opponents, attorney Peter Erlinder traveled to Rwanda to represent her. Within a few days, he too was charged and sent to prison, where he remains. – Photo: FDU-Inkingi Party
President Turna Lewis of the DC-NLG said, “Professor Erlinder traveled to Rwanda to provide representation in a legal proceeding. The rule of law requires that defendants be permitted to obtain legal counsel that will advocate for their interests. Any country that prosecutes attorneys for defending their clients cannot claim to respect democracy or human rights.”

The crime that Professor Erlinder has been accused of, “genocide ideology,” requires no proof of participation in genocidal acts and criminalizes speech protected by international human rights law as codified in the Genocide Convention of 1948 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966. According to Human Rights Watch, the Rwandan government regularly uses prosecutions or threats of prosecution under this law to stifle legitimate dissent.

Yesterday, Professor Erlinder was denied bail and was transferred from the jail where he had been held to the general prison in Kigali. He could be held for another month until his appeal is heard.

Professor Erlinder is a professor of law at the William Mitchell College of Law. He is a frequent litigator and consultant, often pro bono, in cases involving the death penalty, civil rights, claims of government and police misconduct and criminal defense of political activists. Erlinder was president of the National Lawyers Guild from 1993-1997. He has been a defense attorney at the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda since 2003.

Remain abreast of latest updates via Free Professor Erlinder Now on Facebook.

This statement was forwarded by Friends of the Congo.

Call for the release of human rights lawyer Peter Erlinder

by the Africa Faith and Justice Network

On May 27, the Rwandan government arrested Professor Peter Erlinder and falsely charged him with genocide ideology. Mr. Erlinder, an international human rights lawyer, traveled to Rwanda to represent his client, Mrs. Victore Ingabire, a presidential candidate also accused of genocide ideology for daring to call on the Rwandan government to remember all victims of the Rwandan war.

Erlinder’s arrest is the latest of Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s actions undermining free speech and rule of law, actions that have become more frequent in the run up to the August 2010 elections. Act now on behalf of free speech and human rights: Call for Erlinder’s release!

AFJN has long been concerned about the political climate in Rwanda and Kagame’s heavy-handed leadership. Our members have helped to sound the alarm on political repressions and violence in the run-up to the August 2010 elections, including the expulsion of a Human Rights Watch worker, the closure of independent newspapers and the harassment of opposition candidates like Ingabire.

Furthermore, Kagame’s invasion and ongoing destabilization of neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo has been a focal point of AFJN’s DRC campaign. This conflict has cost over 5.4 million lives, yet the world remains silent.

Instead, Rwanda has been considered a “success story” in the eyes of the U.S. Just last year over $178 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars were sent to President Kagame in aid. This level of support, nominally to promote democracy, healing and recovery after the genocide, has been consistent despite evidence of Kagame’s dictatorial behavior.

Now, by putting his hands on a human rights advocate, President Kagame has clearly shown to the world who he really is. The U.S. Department of State has only timidly asked for the release of Mr. Erlinder, acting as if he has done something wrong. Please join us in the call for Erlinder’s release!

Erlinder’s arrest is in part a retaliation by the President Paul Kagame for his extensive work at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Also, on April 30, 2010, Mr. Erlinder and his colleagues filed a lawsuit in a court in Oklahoma against President Paul Kagame regarding events surrounding the triggering of the 1994 genocide. President Paul Kagame wants to prevent Mr. Erlinder from representing his client, Mrs. Inagbire, who needs to be cleared of the charges to be able to campaign freely for the presidency of Rwanda in 2010.

Peter Erlinder’s wife, Masako Usui, writes in a press release: “The offense Peter is charged with is not based on facts, but on the suppression of free speech in his representation of clients, which undermines the rule of law. His family knows he stands with people who are oppressed by those in power and he encourages people to stand up for justice.”

Take action today for Mr. Erlinder’s immediate release. Call President Barack Obama at (202) 456-1111 and your Congressional representatives (look up their contact info here) and urge them to personally tell the Rwandan government that Mr. Erlinder’s release is long overdue!

Script:

Hello, my name is ______ and I am calling President Obama/Senator/Representative _____ to ask him/her personally get involved in the effort to bring Professor Peter Erlinder back home to his family. He has been in a Rwandan jail since May 28, falsely charged with genocide ideology while doing his duty as an international and human rights lawyer. Please ask that all his charges be dropped and he be set free. In addition, please do what you can to ensure that my tax dollars do not go to support the Rwandan regime.

To learn more, contact the Africa Faith and Justice Network, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017, (202) 884-9780, fax (202) 884-9774, afjn@afjn.org.

51 thoughts on “Cynthia McKinney: Rwanda, release Professor Peter Erlinder

  1. Neema

    Just out of curiosity, has Cynthia McKinney ever been to Rwanda? Ever met anyone from Rwanda apart from those who lost power during the genocide? If you have never been to Rwanda, please restrain from making such strong statements because you may not know Rwanda at all. Some people like Professor Erlinder take opposite positions on Rwanda because they are paid to do so, and can benefit from it. These experts you listed here don't know Rwanda either. If they did, I'd like to see what they wrote before and during the genocide. I wonder how you'd feel if Erlinder has written a paper suggesting that historians got it wrong, there was never any slavery system in America, that the KKK groups never existed, and that those who were lynched in the south were white and it was all done by African-Americans. Some of your witnesses have twisted the history of Rwanda in the same manner. You may want to extend your team and take another hard look at the history of Rwanda.
    Further, just for your information, the spanish judge who handed out the indictments was recently indicted by his own government on matters that have nothing to do with Rwanda. As for France, you know very well that judge Bruguiere' case has fallen apart because his witnesses retracted their testimonies. Clearly something is wrong with this picture; I'd suggest that you diversify your information sources at least before drawing conclusions on Rwanda.

    Peace,

    Reply
    1. verite

      Why do you ask her if she have been in Rwanda that's not a problem, Genocides or not genocide that's just politics and is only politicians who live with word genocides. You if you are Rwandans like me you know very well Hutu and Tutsi have been killing by FPR and by MRND so in that case you can say what you are seeing ! enough is enough we need truth and we need peace ans stop using our family for your business please respect them? We want Peters Free and all people who were in prison because they don't see the thinks like you.

      Reply
    2. Bisengemana

      You are not the only person who lived in Rwanda. We all wants the world to understand that there was not only Tutsis killed but also Hutus. Why is it others have to be victimized? Let us call it Rwandese genocide.
      The real problem is the Obama administration which supports the government of Kagame. Let us be honest to ourselves, Kagame does not support freedom of speech. Professor Erlinder went to Rwanda to represent his client, to put him to jail is to deny him the right to do his work. Kagame will pay it soon or later because the man from above sees it all.
      Further more, Kagame has Kunda in his back yard, why not deport Kunda to Congo since he has killed a lot the Congo? Why does Kagame is protecting this young man? Kunda says, he is a Congolese then deport him to Congo to face the law. But Kagame is protecting Kunda because he knows that boy will tell the world who was really behind the killing of the people in Congo.
      Anyway, we are asking for the freedom of professor Erlinder!
      God bless you all!

      Reply
    3. dunia

      You cannot get any truth by going to Rwanda. I have been living there for the whole of my life. Most of my friends , brothers , have been killed by Kagame solders., few of them have been killed by Interahamwe. This shows that the Rwanda conflict in inter-ethnic and politics in somehow. Hutu has been killed and tutsi been killed as well. Why is it forbidden to say that Hutu has been killed? Acknowledging this , is that genocide denial? To me it is not genocide denial as kagame administration thinks. This is the naked truth.

      In Rwanda when you asked me, where are your brothers, sisters and parents?(Event though I knew there were killed by Kagame solders ) I answered that there were killed by former regime or interahamwe in order to save my life . That is the truth inside Rwanda.

      If you need the truth from Rwandese people, meet them outside Rwanda. Inside Rwanda they tell the ruling party ideology from different Ingando(center where government instruct what people have to say and what they cannot say).

      Even outside rwanda, you need to show that you have no connection with RPF/Kagame and this may take time as Kagame administration use foreigners as well in intelligence.

      Reply
    4. KANAMUGIRE

      @NEEMA I dont know whther you are neema tree or something else.being in Rwanda does not make you to know or understand what is going on on Rwandan soil and politics. first in Rwanda we dont have enough information about whats going on in Rwandas because we only listen to the bogus newspers that the RPF government chooses for us to listen to.2ndly, we are not allowed to talk about any thing constructive here except to keep on saying NDIYO BWANA,,,3rd you NEEMA you might not even nkwo Rwanda though you are in rwanda right now because you are among those people who invaded Rwanda in 1990s and destroyed the history of Rwanda and now you have spent years fabricating a new history of Rwanda which is not relevant to Rwandans themselves but to you people who are hiding the truth from the reality. saying Cynthia has not been in Rwanda except those who lost power that is a rubbish. those people did not lose power because if it was not USA backing you only a single day is enough for us Rwandans to remove this tyranny. Another thing I wanted to remind you is that the whole world knows very well that you killed Habyarimana in order to play a victim card to get power. if you are good people then why is NYAMWASA,KAREGEYA,SEBARENZI,MUSHYIDI and other many leaving the country?guy watch out because the truth is unveiling itself soon or later the whole world will know that you are liars and you sacrificed your Tutsi relatives to get power.

      Reply
  2. Silver

    You people have a very big problem, do youthink you can believe every thing because you read it from fome book, report , newspapers etc!!!!!???? Not at all. I agree one need to read but one does not need to agree every thing just because he has read it from some where, rather, he has to put every thing he reads under scientific inquiry. in other words "Foolish is a man who does not read, but even more foolish is tha man who believes some thing just because he has read it some where". so guyz try make your own analysis. Otherwise you are being misled by what you read

    Reply
    1. Jean Marc Lukela G.

      poor you why did u hide your real name. shame on you, Cynthia she is my HERO, please never try again.

      Reply
  3. kasy

    Comments: The extremist Tutsis who are war criminals and are now in power in Rwanda are going out of their way to prevent the truth from coming out. By arresting Prof. Erlinder, they think it will slow down the process of the truth coming out. If anything, it will speed things up. The world can now see that those "angels" in the RPF are not so innocent. Prof. Erlinder needs to be freed. After that, the process of bringing fundamental human rights in Rwanda needs to continue. An important part of which will be continuing Prof. Erlinder's work of bringing to light the crimes against humanity that have been committed by the extremist Tutsis in the RPF. The moderate Hutus, Tutsis and Twas have had enough of these murderous extremist Tutsis. Just like we have had enough of their extremist Hutu brethren. Free Prof. Erlinder now!

    Reply
  4. Mugesera

    I am surprised when somebody makes herself an expert just bcz she has been in Rwanda once or twice. You are recommending people to go to Rwanda for them to understand what happened there, but I would like to inform you that I have lived all my life there and I have seen the opposite of the story you are telling. You are trying to contradict high ranking officials (at the time) like Cynthia, yet they know which powers were working behind the scenes, decisions were made at there presence.

    Does one need to go in Rwanda for him to know that Judge Hourigan was obliged hide his findings just bcz they were accusing KAGAME and his god fathers?Even the ICTR prosecutor was redeployed following Hourigan investigation findings. Cynthia knows who did this and why they did it due to her job position, she doesn't need to go in Rwanda to see it there.

    Reply
  5. Michael Ngabo

    I like Neema's comment; it really touches the nerve centre of Mckinney's problem. The latter should read widely because a lot has been written about the genocide in Rwanda and not all of it is true. I would advise her to read books by Willis, Romeo Dallaire, Linda Melvern, Gerard Prunier, the UN report and OAU reports on the genocide in Rwanda. Mckinney should discern from what is propaganda and what is fact by visiting Rwanda and talking to the victims of genocide. Erlinder's problem is judicial and not political. He is in prison waiting for the law to take its due course and if he his health is not good, that will be taken into consideration and he will ba handled humanely. Let us allow Rwanda's courts to do their work so that we can assess and evaluate them according to their handling of the process. Otherwise pressuring the US and Rwandan governments is interfering withe a judicial process by people who advocate for the rule of law and it is paradoxical.

    Reply
    1. Roula

      Could you tell me why Victoire Ingabire is arrested? Is it fair for her to go under pressure because She wants to challenge the presidency of king Kagame? A small Rwanda is the cause of much trouble in the region of great lake. But God see what is taking place, He will arise to punish many.
      Ngabo, you make me wonder. You are telling us not to believe what some books have said about genocide and yet you are also at the same time urging us to read the book of Romeo…and so on. My dear, you are confusing yourself.
      God bless Africa!

      Reply
    2. Manyica

      Many books have been writen about the genocide in Rwanda and I do not think it is right for you to only mention books that embrace your beliefs. McKinney knows what she is talking about and I suggest that you read some other books. You are telling us not to believe what some books have said about genocide and yet you are also at the same time urging us to read the book of Romeo Dallaire and Prunier. I am wandering if they still believe in what they wrote. May I remind you that "As for the truth, there are none more knowledgeable on this subject than Charles Onana, Ruzibiza Abdul, Alison Desforges, Philipot, Wayne Madsen, Keith Harmon Snow, and lawyers Jordi Palau and Michael Hourigan. "
      God bless Rwanda.

      Reply
    3. Manyica

      Going to Rwanda and meet someone like you "Ngabo "does not mean or ensure that Mckinney will know the truth. She instead will be more confused than ever. You are talking about Professor Erlinder as if he is anybody. Prof. Erlinder is a highly respected lawyer and professor well known. Therefore, he should be treated as he is. About the jailing in Rwanda of attorney Peter Erlinder, who went there to represent Victoire: Prof. Erlinder was doing his job, there is no reason to be in jail. Attempting to silence a lawyer doing his job is insane. Cynthia is doing her job as well. Thank God that the truth is finnally coming out.
      God bless Rwanda.

      Reply
  6. manu

    what I know for sure is that the truth will come out in its entirety be it soon or late. A dictatorship can manipulated the public and international opinion with some back up for a certain time, but definitely it will fall. Kagame is not important to the US than was Saddam, Savimbi, Mobutu….

    Reply
    1. Roula

      Could you tell me why Victoire Ingabire is arrested? Is it fair for her to go under pressure because She wants to challenge the presidency of king Kagame? A small Rwanda is the cause of much trouble in the region of great lake. But God see what is taking place

      Reply
  7. StubborTruth

    Mugusera is right. Going to Rwanda does not mean that all Kagame people tell you is the truth. What's more Cynthia Mckinney had access to top intelligence interlocutors and critical information which makes her far more reliable than the Kagame propaganda people like this Scherrer who thinks simply because he's jewish, this entitles him to talk about any genocide case in the world. The kind of Jewish Finkelstein describes in his book Holocaust Industry. Those who would back people like Kagame even in a greater holocaust (Congo) to take advantage of the political influence that Kagame provided them in a fabricated story.

    Reply
    1. Francis Muhoozi

      For heavens sake who is this Christian Scherrer claiming to know the people of Rwanda more than the Rwandese themselves? Coming to Rwanda in the aftermath of the genocide in 1994/95 as briefly as he did and working with the real killer and genocide causer Kagame does not at all make him an expert on the Rwanda crisis.
      If truly Scherrer was in Rwanda on a UN human rights mission, can he shed some more light of the work of the UNHCR team led by Robert Gersony? Can Scherrer explain why he was in Rwanda cheering the Kagame rouge regime when it was openly massacring more than 5,000 innocent Hutu refugees in a UN protected refugee camp at Kibeho in southern Rwanda in 1995?
      Mr Scherrer's love for Rwanda should be treated with all the contempt it deserves because Kagame today is one of the richest African dictators with blood minerals' money from Eastern Congo to blind such people's eyes. JUST RELEASE POOR PROFESSOR ERLINDER!
      .

      Reply
      1. KANAMUGIRE

        Christian Scherrer I dont knoweven why you are called Christian because you are an oppressor and oppressors do nt deserve such name because it is a name that brings hope, justice, reconciliation, and fairness which your corrupt heart does not carry.As a victim of Kagame's brutal rule for having been imprisoned simply because I was a young university student hutu, I have more than wide experience about the regime that USA imposed on us. First,I wanted to let you know that Tutsis and Hutus had lived together over decades without genocide if hutus wanted to eliminate tutsis they couldnt have waited until 1994 they could have done it immediately after independence struggle. the hatred was revived by Kagame when he invaded a sovereign state like Rwanda. Kagame knew all along that by killing people in Byumba, Mutara, Kiyombe,Ruhengeri,Butaro,Kinigi, and Mutura was the only way that he could make Hutus revenge against internal Tutsis.It is obvious that Kagame considers the Tutsis who remained in Rwanda in 1959 as other Hutus and frenchees meaning those who got their education in french system. Please hear this Mr Christian. I know very well you were given a mistress in Kigali whom you exchange romance with propoganda on the behalf of Kagame but I would like to advice you that a man of yourt character should not exchange romance with the analytical thinking…every bosdy knows that Kagame killed Habyalimana. you are talking about Rwandans.I am a proud Rwandan and lived in Kigali before and after the shooting of the plane I know Kagame killed Habyalimana and Ntaryamira the only problem is that USA doesnt want to accept it because they were behind it but one day justice with prevail.

        Reply
      2. Roula

        Kagame soon or later he will pay because the blood of many people are crying before God. Kagame cannot gain weight, people are crying and God see to set his people free. I always ask myself, why king Kagame does not like the world to question the genocide; our children have to know the real story. Who is really hiding behind the genocide? And why the american government supports a person like Kagame? Anyway, the american government supported people such as Mobutu, Savimbi, Sadam Hussein and j'en passe.
        Free prof !

        Reply
  8. Innocent

    I would like to say that what Rwanda is doing is wrong! You dont need to be in Rwanda to see that. And the reason is very simple everyone in Rwanda is brain washed and made to believe that the government is the survire but that is not true. Any comments written by a Rwandan he/she knows better that Kagame is not what he say’s he is. Ask General Nyamwasa he will tell you better. The fact is in Rwanda thigns went wrong and a genocide happened but the government which came in power had everything to do with it just like the overthrown government. Don’t blem poeple that they havent been in Rwanda if they have they could have seen things defferentely well. Professor Peter went there and he was arrested, so its simple you either get arrested or brainwashed. And the western we support their only there to use us and after feed us to our own angry people i promise you that when Kagame’s job is done he will be either killed or he will be also facing genocide charges! Everyone knows that wether you write saying otherwise he also knows it. And he is running out of time. My only peace of advice let it be a lesson and we should not let the next president to be like him! in fact if the western feel they need another war to control the greatlakes becouse of its worth am sorry genocide is gonna be there of the second time. Watch out and stop defend criminals and unite for the best of our on future and the future of the country and its peolpe. Peace!!!

    Reply
  9. Toto

    It was hard to survive from the evil eyes whose only sight was on nose.I come in memories for those who lost their lives in 1994 simply because they were Tutsis and those who lost their lives in the Congo refugees campus.Some unfair things in the world is to link this genocide with politics And it is unfortunate that Kagame regime uses genocide so often to strenghten his power and those who are ashamed of what they did in Rwanda are using kagame actions on using genocide as political tool in order to deny Genocide.It is true that some Hutus were killed during the war and during the genocide.However,it is also unfortunate to now that the then goverment of Habyarimana,was using the civilian to go to war and fight the rebels as the tactics continues in Congo where FDLR(EX-FAR) are disguised in civilian clothes while on battle field.This tactics to be a civilian who held a gun has put civilian in danger.

    Reply
  10. Toto

    .It is unfortunate to know that those Hutu who were killed during the genocide were not targeted but mistaken to be tutsis.I would encourage all loving and humble human kind to recognise Tutsis genocide whetever and regardless who caused this genocide.I would personnally call upon internation community not to give any room to criminals who committed those crimes in Rwanda.When French trusted in themselves that they are so powerful and they can use their power to stabilise Rwanda, it went in opposite way.The same as Erlinder who thought that by being a well recognised and well recognised international lawyer,he can do what he wants on Rwandan soil. Whether he was paid to do so or not, he must accept that he did a mistake,he must accept that he did not act in a professional mannor and accept any outcome from his thoughtless actions. Rwandans know better about Rwanda than Americans and Americans know better America than Rwandans.Therefore to Peter Erlinder's case,it is a matter of jumping in the hole which you do not know where it ends.I agree with Rwanda to detain this man.Continues….

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  11. Toto

    .I desagree with those who say Rwanda genocide should be recognised as Rwanda genocide as in general to include Hutus as well…no no Hutus were not targeted therefore if it is to be taken as such we should refer to genocide definition and we can end up changing both the genocide laaw and the history of Rwanda.I agree with those who say that Kagame lebel movement has claimed many inncocent and civilan life as well by shouting undescriminately .Kagame should be brought to justice for crimes against humanity. Please God give Rwanda peace

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    1. Roula

      Could you tell the whole world how this genocide started? Tutsis were targeted by the one who loves power the must. The world of today needs a free and fair election, and any child of Rwanda has the right to prostuler.
      Free the journalist!

      Reply
  12. Davis Nyabero

    I think Neema has a point, yes you have to be in Rwanda, probably you are Rwandan a who maybe even witnessed the most horrible and heinous acts against mankind, in 1994 but my dear that does not mean that People should follow up on Peter Carls Opinions they are his, its only fair if people were left to decide whether to believe in his writings or not this should not be a reason for him to arrested and detained he did not publish his book/ Scholastic work in Rwanda he did it in the US.If you were to read an Article where the author states that people should commit suicide because the world is coming to an end would you do it ? Think critically. Its always wise to do so there is a hidden agenda behind the UNLAWFUL ARREST AND DETENTION OF PETER CARL.

    The Rwandan Govt is simply using the “Genocide ideology”, law ? to Scare off people who are running against Kagame and his Goons in upcoming presidential Elections. Freedom of Speech is a fundamental human right and i believe His Excellency President of Rwanda has his reasons for consistently violating the rights of the citizens of Rwanda. Please Release Peter Carl Erlinder he has a client at the ICTR and he has Victoire Ingabire, and lastly he has and is entitled to his own opinion and should be allowed to express himself freely Come August people will still vote for her if their intention was to vote for her.
    DISCLAIMER
    This is merely my own opinion if you think im right thats up to you, Rwanda Needs Democracy not Pseudo democracy, the time has come in Africa for DICTATORS to STEP ASIDE.

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  13. afrikakorps

    It may interest readers to know that Ken Watkin, a Canadian official who represented Gen Romeo Dallaire for nearly ten years post Rwanda, has been named to sit on the Kangaroo Inquiry the Israelis are holding into their own barbaric actions on the Mavi Marmara. Watkin's involvment in the coverup of Canadian complicity in the US regime change operation in Rwanda and the installation of Paul Kagame will serve him in good stead for yet another war-crimes' coverup assignment for Israel.

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  14. FactsforFictions

    Please take a look at this: http://www.massviolence.org/Rwanda-The-State-of-R
    "The Limits of the Holocaust Paradigm

    Unsurprisingly, the comparison between the Rwanda genocide and the Holocaust has proved hard to resist. Both are total genocides, and both are dominated by a lethal social construction of the “other”. French and Belgian scholars were the first to call attention to the parallel, with Jean-Pierre Chrétien speaking of “tropical Nazism” (1994). For Alain Destexhe “the extermination of the Jews is the only precedent one can prudently evoke to understand that of the Tutsi, for Jews and Tutsi were targeted as such and for no other reason than they happened to be born Jews and Tutsi” (Destexhe, 1994: 14)."

    "Compelling as the analogy may be in some respects (Lemarchand, 2002: 501), its limitations are no less obvious. The contextual differences cannot be ignored: “Jews did not invade Germany with the massive military and logistical support of a neighboring state; nor did they once rule Germany as the political instrument of an absolute monarchy; nor were they identified with a ruling ethnocracy; nor did Jewish elements commit a partial genocide of non-Jews in a neighboring state 22 years before the Holocaust. Again, Jews did not stand accused of murdering the head of state of a neighboring state” (ibid. 500-1). Furthermore, “whereas the Holocaust is the classic example of an ideological genocide… the Rwanda genocide is better seen as a by-product of the mortal threats posed to the Hutu-dominated state by the FPR” (ibid.)"

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  15. Monika

    Prof. Erlinder was doing his job, there is no reason to be in jail. Cynthia is doing her job as well. You all know well that Rwanda became a hell since taken by those extremist tutsi who are allergic to the truth and caused what some of you call "genocide". Nobody needs to go to Rwanda in order to know what's going on because the truth always comes out.

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  16. Kezia Hunt Mukenyezi

    Please we need peace and reconciliation in Rwanda. This is my 16yrs outside that beloved country. As refugee , peace and security of every Rwandain is very important. The leadership in Rwanda is imitating other past leadership by not focus on unity and reconciliation. Forgiviness and reconcilation are not just in paper it is practical. Do what you say. Leave the law to take its place, we are all injude and people have died from both HUTU and TUTSI and look those who have died in DRC are more than those who died even in Rwanda. See Kibeho, see respect burial that take place today. Do you me that those are anly Tutsi. If you respect Tutsi and how do you put their head on public and not giving them the respect due to them. In another way those are Hutu who are parade in order to show that Tusti died. What I will teaching our children , ethier in exile or in Rwanda. My fear is that we are creating a generation of hating each other. We did not choose to be Hutu or Tusti. We are born like that , why do kill me because I am wondeful made like that -Ask God why he made me Tusti or Hutu. Peter Erlinder will die in Prison or be brainwashed by people in power like UK and USA and all those who support the Killing in Rwanda by FPR or MRND. To say that he hold Genoncide ideology or denial is not right because when Hutu will take over they will judge kagame that he hodls the same ideology as he denies that Hutu died. The law he is putting in place will judge him or his children. Therefore, the Bible should be the source of peace by saying ” NOTHING OUT OF SELFISH AMBITION OR VAIN CONCEIT BUT IN HUMILITY CONSIDER OTHERS BETTER THAN YOURSELVES> EACH OF YOU SHOULD LOOK NOT ONLY TO YOUR INTEREST< BUT ASLO TO THE INTERESTS OF OTHERS" Phil 2:3-4

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  17. David Gespass

    The issue is not whether Erlinder's conclusions are right or wrong or, as is often the case, a combination of both. I would not dismiss them out of hand because, in the course of his fulfilling his duties as defense counsel, he has studied recent Rwandan history far more carefully than almost anyone. Regardless, the Rwandan court has cited his successful defense of a client before the tribunal, Aloys Ntabakuze, as one of the grounds for his prosecution. If Kagame and the Rwandan government are so sure of their narrative, they would not be afraid to have it tested in a public trial, where witnesses are cross-examined and documents scrutinized. Rather, they attempt to silence an attorney doing his job and thereby avoid a public trial. The real question to be asked is what do they have to fear if their narrative is so unimpeachably true.
    Rwanda's prosecution of a lawyer for things he said outside the country, for statements that were quotes from other people, for a successful defense of a client and for allegations made in litigation, is utterly unacceptable in any society governed by the rule of law.

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  18. Neema

    I don't know Cynthia very well but I know that she believes in a different version of the genocide in Rwanda. It's a shame that someone in her capacity would take a position to only consider listening to one side of the story.
    The genocide that took place in Rwanda targeted Tutsis who were in Rwanda not because they were fighting or were in any way a threat to their Hutu neighbors, but simply because they were born Tutsis. it intended to eliminate all of them. That is why it's called a genocide and not "ethnic or civil war". I should also remind readers that the genocide happened after Hutus had had power for nearly 50 years. There is no justification under the sun for this genocide. For anyone who isn't very familiar with the crime of genocide, the targeted group was unarmed, never had an army or any particular organization. For nearly 50 years, they had learned to lay low and accept discrimination. Any attempt to demand justice would have triggered a new wave of killings. They had survived a few of those in the past.
    The genocide was caused by pure hatred. I also disagree with any suggestion that it was not planned ahead of time as Prof Erlinder suggest. One has to look at the propaganda machine both in print and audio media to see it in black and white. You should also check out the early reports from the Human Rights Watch before it realized that the genocidaire machine is innocent.
    The only reason Tutsis were killed in big numbers is because of this propaganda and the naivete that their good neighbors could not possibly harm them since they weren't enemies to begin with.
    Therefore, if some wish to charge Kagame for the genocide, they would have to explain how he managed to convince the entire Hutu countrymen to grab machetes and hack their neighbors. One also would have to explain to me what was the meaning of the "TEN HUTU COMMANDMENTS" and Kangura calling on Hutus to wake up and keep an eye on their neighbors, something that could be compare to the McCarthyism era here.
    Now, there were Hutus who were killed by the same genocidaires who killed Tutsis. These Hutus often were killed in what could be called "reglement de compte" either because of pure hatred or because their fellow Hutus perceived them to be a threat either for political or economic reasons. It is important to make these distinctions. Such Hutus include, Ms Uwiringiyimana, Nzamurambaho who were killed for political reasons, and hundreds of others, mostly educated who were targeted because someone held a grudge against them. Those who were killed during the genocide were accused of being traitors of extremist Hutus and were hiding Tutsi or spying for RPF. There are also Hutus who were killed in war zones before the genocide. I can't really comment on this group because I don't have enough info as to who killed them and how they were killed. The only comment I can make is to speculate that it's hard t know exactly who killed them since they were caught between two armies. Under such circumstances, unfortunately using human shield is not a new war tactic phenomenon. The problem in war zones is that innocent civilians caught in between are always suspected of spying activities by each waring group. It's also important to point out that the areas under RPF control at the time the genocide started experienced less or no killings at all compare to the rest of the country.

    As for my suggestion for Cynthia to travel to Rwanda, she does not need necessarily to speak to genocide survivors but most importantly to ordinary Hutus on the hills. Some of them participated in the genocide and confessed their deeds, others did not participate in the killings. I think the truth about what happened can really be told by these people who are not politicians or wannabe-politicians. Erlinder did not talk to this group, he, and other fellow experts on Rwanda only talk to people who feed them what they want to hear.
    Finally, just because he said what he said while outside of Rwanda doesn't make his statements less painful to those he insulted. If an American Citizen make derogatory or racially charged comment while outside of America, he won't be excused that the was not in America when he said it, would he? Let's be honest, he violated the laws of that country and should be held accountable. It sucks to be locked up abode but unfortunately, you cannot dictate how you are dealt with based on your nationality. Foreign nationals in custody in America abide by the laws of this country. I don't think any country can sway the justice system for preferential treatment.

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  19. Doug

    Neema, I really think you should stop telling lies that you know about. I agree that tutsi and hutu died during the genocide and also I agree that Kagame sacrificed the tutsi in order to take the power (try to find some well educated tutsi who are not etremists and I know you can find some) they will tell you the truth. The only reason why Peter was arrested was that he spoke the truth as it is about the involvement of RPF and specifically president Kagame in the killings. Cynthia knows what she is talking about and she is not baised. She is just one of those people who tell the truth as it is. Please stop complicating the situation, we all know what RPF did.

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  20. Monika

    Thank you Doug! Neema, You need more and clear information, but the "genocide card" used for those who see the opposite (The truth) of Rwandan Government is expiring.

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  21. Elysee

    Thank You Neema, Finally someone who can tell the truth.
    In the end we know who tried to kill us. You can go on and do your research and analysis but for us who survived the genocide, we know, we experienced and we survived. so don't try to tell us who called us cockroaches in 1994, don't try tell us who said that we should be sent back to Ethiopia through the Nile River in 1993, Don't try to confuse us on what was written in History books pre 1994, the history that we studied in schools, Don't try to tell us who killed our parents in 1973, and our grand parents in 1959. We know not from research but from our families blood.
    So if you want to debate about your research and Analysis in the comfort of your "freedom of Speech" fine.
    But don't don't come to mock grief in our own backyard. you were not there when we needed you, at least have the decency to keep you mockeries to yourself where you are.
    When you come to Rwanda, abide by the Rwandan Law. Peter of all people should know this, he is a lawyer for cryin'out loud!!!… well, he is also American I guess.

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  22. Tito

    Facts are facts. Say all you want the thruth can’t change. Peter Erlinder must respond on what he said and do.

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  23. Stanley

    Confusion has always been the RPF strategy to confuse rwandans and the whole world to the extend that even the early its supporters no longer know what to do. The real bone of contention is the involvement of Kagame and his close allies in the killing of hundreds of thousands of people both hutu and tutsi , not whether what happened should be called genocide or not coz only Kagame and co benefit from what he calls genocide. By calling it genocide , Kagame tried to shade crocodile tears and earn sympathy while he knows very well his role in the atrocities. People who are curageous to point out what happened exactly are accused of all sorts of things but surprisingly Kagame does not want to challenge any neutral courts of law. He want to try them in Rwanda where he dictates his kangaroo courts what to do. There is a strong need for the UN to unearth the truth, if not rwandans will suffer for ever.

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  24. Gicari Dunia

    I would like to have Neema's private email and thank her for the good analysis and views she gave to Cynthia. Can you imagine, somebody from where I don't know, travelling to the USA, arriving at the Immigrations desks where you find those vigilant, aggressively questioning and famous Immigration Border Protection officers, telling them you are entering the US to sit as a lawyer to Bin Laden? Can you enter the US shouting loudly that the 11 September attacks were invented by the US for political reasons and clear your intentions to attack Arabs? You know better where you can be headed to. To jail of course! Imagine now, having a white man from the US, entering arrogantly in Rwanda to cynically deny a genocide and advocating for people like Ingabire who works together with murderers of the 1994 genocide! Erlinder will have to answer his charges no matter who presses. Supporters to Cynthia and Cynthia herself should go to hell!

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  25. Bandibandi

    The kinds of people like Neema et al. will never accept to lose their face by accepting that RPF provocations triggered the Rwanda genocide. It is surprising and stupid from their side when they want to convince people that Hutus woke up one day and started killing their |Tutsi neighbours because they were just born Tutsi!!!!. The 1994 genocide was preceded by horrific and murderous 4 year war that was launched by Tutsis from Uganda to reconquer what they claimed was their ancestors' country (remember that Hutus were subject to live like Tutsi's slaves for almost 400 years until 1961 when the Tutsi King lost in a referendum that made Rwanda a Republic and preferred to flee the country) and came killing Hutu villagers as revenge because they had voted out their King in 1961 referendum.

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  26. Bandibandi

    By attacking Rwanda and by killing Habyarimana RPF wanted the majority Hutus to attack Tutsis and use it as a pretext to accuse them of genocide and have the whole international community against them in order to reseize power in Kigali. And this is what happened. And this is why Kagame and RPF are ready even to lose their lives but maintain their narrative about what happened to Rwanda. Do not be surprised when they attack you once you show a slight questionning of their version of facts. Their survival omn power rely heavily on distorting history to cover up their huge responsibility and crimes in the Rwanda genocide. Why should we expect them to behave otherwise? They know that justice awaits them once it will be proved that they are exploiting a genocide they planned and executed but manage to blame it on other people.

    In any way, whether they like it or not, the truth shall overcome.

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  27. jon

    bandibandi you must be deluded and your hatred towards tutsi is obvious,dont try to change the history…what you did was evil.

    Reply
  28. Ann_Garrison

    @Neema: Cynthia McKinney has been to Rwanda, but this question–Has she/have you been to Rwanda???–is really tedious. I have no doubt that there is much to learn by going and I'd try to do so myself if I didn't feel sure I'd be arrested at this point, but tourists go to Rwanda all the time and take the gorilla park/genocide memorial and or official tour without learning anything about Rwanda's contested histories, or about the geostrategic significance of eastern Congolese mineral reserves, and certainly without studying the evidence regarding the 1994 Rwanda Genocide that Professor Erlinder has collected in his Rwanda Documents Project, http://goo.gl/mSVH.

    Tourism is not expertise. In fact, often the opposite, because so many who go take the official tour come home to repeat the official story.

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  29. Champ

    Cynthia McKinney has proven incorruptible by Kagame and his PR machine. She has refused to be blackmailed by the genocide card used by Kagame as a tool to maintain himself in power and avoid justice for his war crimes, crimes against humanity, rape of Congolese women where his troops jammed hot peppers and sticks in women's vaginas, and the killing of 5 million Congolese in addition to Rwandans he exterminated. The genocide card used by Kagame to avoid facing justice for the countless victims his troops called to meetings and bombed, those killed by starvation, etc did not work with Cynthia McKinney. I commend her for standing upright in this messy issue of the Rwandan genocide that has extended to the Congo.

    Erlinder is suffering for the following reasons among others:

    1. Representing his client well at the ICTR and disproving the theory that the military leaders conspired to commit genocide. All were acquitted of planning genocide including the genocide "brain" Theoneste Bagosora.

    2. Having found damning evidence on Kagame's crimes and making that public

    3. Representing an opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza who has a great chance of winning the elections against Kagame

    4. Telling the truth. He never denied that Tutsis were targeted, he just makes it clear that the RPF and Kagame are not the saviors they are made out to be. Though this should be obvious given the number of people they killed in Congo (if we are to ignore their atrocities in Rwanda).

    5. They want to scare away any defense lawyers defending their opponents.

    The Rwandan government is afraid of the truth and justice. So, they decided to jail a lawyer for doing his job.

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  30. mackenzie

    Kagame and his supporters want to hide the truth about the Rwandan tragedy which they have planned and executed until now. It is not in jailing people who speak out that truth that they will win in their lies. They may lie years and years but they will not be able to lie forever. The world is now starting seeing clear; at the end of the day, Kagame and his boys and ladies will be known from head to toes. they are criminal, liars, theives. Who launced the war killing men, women and children in Ruhengeri, Byumba? were they hutu? Who displaced survivors of those attacks since 1990? are they hutu? . Finally who shooted the airplane which transported hutus presidents? HE IS KAGAME and his supporters.Kagame wanted very much tutsi to be killed; on Radio Muhabura he said:"No foreign forces on Rwandan ground, if I find one they will see me" He wanted tusti to be killed so he could get this GOLD "GENOCIDE". Genocide is his GOLD, his loved one which he uses to maintain power and continue the genocide against hutus.
    BUT ONE DAY, ALL THIS MESS WILL END. Kagame will kill, will torture the TRUTH Witnesses, but he cannot eliminate them from the whole World. Days of the theif are limited.

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  31. Samba

    The truth shall set u free. Kagame is a criminal and he is in paranoa because his long hidden crimes are being exposed day by day. Kagame and RPF are the fundamental problems of Rda and rwandans will never reconcile &unite untill Kagame and RPF are gone.

    Thank you Cynthia McKinney, Peter Erlinder, Keith Snow, Allison des Forges, and all others who strive for a better Rwanda. May the truth win!!

    Reply
  32. Clementine

    When the ICTR was established, it was determined and agreeid upon that both sides of the forces, both the Former Rwandan government and the current government took part in crimes against humanity and that they should all be tried. So far, no one from the current government has been tried before. Im a Rwanda, a mix of tutsi and hutu and I dont think it is just to prosecute one side but not the other. The ICTR mandate is almost over but one one side has been tried.

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  33. clementine

    Now, I believe that the former government had immense abuse of human rights, I was there when the Hutu extremists were targeting Tutsis and the Tutsi look alike, but I was also there when the RPF was going after anyone who was in their way of attaining power, mostly hutus, even though a lot of Tutsis also perished, Lets try to understand that there is not going to be to peace and justice in Rwanda unless the whole truth is spread out. Rwanda needs to try to follow South Africa's model of truth and reconnciliation involving truth commissions, transitional justice and involvement of civil society. If needed, amnesty should be given to those who come forward and speak of the crimes they committed in order to maintain a safe envirnment for those who willingly come to shed the light on the truth and for the civil society.

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  34. tatz

    why dont they give everyone the right to vote whoever they want to be a leader ….the truth ise that u are abusing human rights ……u dnt force a person who to vote for..rwanda is one of the smallest countries in the whole world but i again it have the most innocent blood shred and most troubled soul……pliz let everyone vote freely and live with no fear …make peace not war ….

    Reply

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