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Fox News confuses Rwanda’s presidential election with the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda

June 7, 2010

by Ann Garrison

Rwandan presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza is the client that Law Professor Peter Erlinder came to Rwanda to defend before his own arrest.
Fox News reached new extremes of irresponsibility today by reporting that Professor Peter Erlinder is in Kigali, Rwanda, to defend “the alleged perpetrators of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.” Professor Erlinder is in Rwanda to defend opposition presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza against charges of genocide ideology, a speech crime unique to Rwanda which means challenging the received history of the Rwanda Genocide, a crime he himself was arrested for within days after arriving in Rwanda to defend Ingabire.

Fox News, in its own words:

Erlinder, who has not spoken to friends or family since being detained, was in Rwanda defending alleged leaders of the country’s 1994 genocide, but Friday the judge charged him with denying genocide and with publishing articles threatening the country’s security” (emphasis added).

Fox seems to be confusing Rwanda’s 2010 presidential election, which his client, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, keeps trying to enter as an opposition candidate, with the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, where Erlinder has served as lead defense counsel for several of the accused.

Professor Erlinder’s evidence, the Rwanda Documents Project, gathered during his years of work as a defender at the ICTR, is the basis of his argument that the received history of the Rwanda Genocide is history written by the victors, as he said here, at the Second International Defense Lawyer’s Conference in Brussels, just before flying to Kigali to defend Ingabire.

San Francisco writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Digital Journal,, OpEdNews, Global Research, Colored Opinions and her blog, Plutocracy Now. She can be reached at This story originally appeared on Plutocracy Now.

Peter Erlinder speaking on 22 May 2010 in Brussels from ICTR Legacy on Vimeo.

19 thoughts on “Fox News confuses Rwanda’s presidential election with the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda

  1. Tremerie

    The Whole issue is Hillary CLINTON, the US Secretary of State. She is plotting with Kagame to kill Erlinder in jail and blaim it on self-suicide. An informer told me that. We don't what is going between CLONTON familly and Kagame. There's something rotten down there. Now they want to spread around lies once again like in 1994, so they can kill him easily. We need to inform US Congress. It is too much evil.

    1. Gigi

      Is Erlinder being punished for his role as a defense lawyer representing genocide suspects in the ICTR?

      No, not at all. He is being charged with a decade’s worth of statements he has made publically out of court and in numerous platforms that denied the genocide which cost a million Rwandan lives.

  2. rwanda rwejo

    I don't feel sorry about this dude, he tryin to deny genocide and support extremist, and he thinks he can get away with it, just because he is a USA citizen. Sir you are wrong on that.

      1. Gigi

        Mr. Fever, this is what Erlinder said- in his own words. If this isnt genocide denial, then you are dumb

        "….This raises the more profound question: If there was no conspiracy and no planning to kill ethnic (i.e., Tutsi) civilians, can the tragedy that engulfed Rwanda properly be called “a genocide” at all? Or, was it closer to a case of civilians being caught up in war-time violence, like the Eastern Front in WWII, rather than the planned behind-the-lines killings in Nazi death camps? The ICTR judgment found the former.”

    1. justice

      I'de advise you to do some research, read his papers, his argumentation and when you have made your own analysis come to conclusion.
      Forget for a sec that Kagame controls everything and enjoy your freedom of thinking jus once then you will understand that being critical, analysing and pursuing the truth is not as bad as the actual regime claimed by introducing such a law.

      Also, you said that Erlinder thinks to get away whith whatever you said because he is a US citizen… Jus this should prove to you that what Erlinder says is worth to be listened to.
      He accuses the US of supporting Kagame, basically the US as well as the rwandan government are on the same boat in this matter. If the US was to act… believe me the day he was arrested he could have been released.

  3. eddie

    FOX NEWS is misleading the public, it's all staged. They know that if they were to say that Peter was representing the opposition in the upcoming elections, the rest will be history and peter will be out tomorrow.

    The Media, military industrial complex, and corporations work together to control the whole world and in this case, it's all about coltan, gold, diamond that kagama is providing to the West, through proxy war in Congo.

    1. Gigi

      How does Erlinder threaten Rwanda’s peace and security?
      The small but vocal number of genocide defenders and deniers, of which Erlinder is one, cause immense heartache and anguish. They fuel conspiracies and lies. They teach hate and promote ethnic conflict, the exact opposite of our national mission to unite and reconcile our society. From Minnesota, it may seem like an over-reaction. But for Rwandans, the arrest of Erlinder is an act of justice and an act of peace.

      1. justice

        It is wrong to say that a Lawyer may be arrested for the same charges as his/her client.
        It is wrong to say that this your 2003 law is extra territorial… How can you possibly prosecute anyone who enters your country for things said or done outside your jurisdiction!

        For 16 years Rwanda has been ignoring most of the International rules but this time it is too much! The arrest of Erlinder is unlawful based on several treaties where Rwanda is a member therefore it can never be an act of justice and an act of peace.

    2. Justice

      True! Its all about money but we are too blind to see that the international community is taking advantage from all this reason why they don't react.
      Rwandans wake up… The whole conflict is beyond tutsis vs hutus or Kagame's dictatorial regime
      Money Money Money

  4. Gigi

    Doesn’t Erlinder have the right to his point of view?
    In Rwanda, he doesn’t. An American schooled in the Bill of Rights might object to that. But Rwandans, schooled in the horror of genocide, do not place an academic’s right to free speech over and above the right of 11 million Rwandans to live in peace and security.

  5. Justice

    I'm sad to see that there are rwandans who are happy to live a pretending life… pretend that all is well while it is not!! as long as criminals in the RPF will not be prosecuted, Kagame included… Reconciliation is just a word among others!
    Also, I encourage all my fellow rwandans to fight for their fundamental rights… and not be scared by one man, Kagame, who is a terrorist in his own country to his own people.

    You have talked about demography… Look at the statistics before 1994… how many tutsis and hutus were there then look at the statistics after 1994! You can fake history but you can't hide the truth forever!

    1. Gigi

      Its not pretending, Mr. justice, we are living the reality. we are in rwanda and we know that the country is developping and there are opportunities than ever before. the rest is just politics. The RPF may have some flaws, but this is a party led by humans – the bottom line is, this is a patriotic party that is making efforts to diginify Rwanda and its people – what fundamental rights? whats rights could be more right than free basic education for all without segregation, assured basic health care for all, government services provided without corruption or discrimination, security and justice for all without discrimination and all that – which fundamental rights are you referring to? by the way you talk i am sure you are out of touch with the Rwandan reality because you live abroad and iam sure you dont even know the real meaning of fundamental rights. As for statistics, i dont understand what you mean by comparing the two periods. In any case, our national census on the basis of ethnicity- so we cant know.

      1. Gigi

        Our national census are not conducted to establish how many tutsis, hutus and twas are there in the country – its about how many rwandans and whats their problems – this way the government can devise strategies to elevate the country out of poverty and develop the nation

  6. frank

    Justice,Have you bothered to read what the professor is insinuating,You can have your issues with President Kagame,but You cannot deny that A Genocide took place in Rwanda.

    Erlinder violated Rwandan laws and it does not matter where he committed the offense from?Please don't disrespect the survivors of this tragedy by saying there was no Genocide.

  7. Ann_Garrison

    In yesterday's report Fox News seemed to have realized that Professor Erlinder went to Rwanda to defend a presidential candidate, not "alleged perpetrators of the 1994 genocide":

    Seems they must be reading the SF Bay View.


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