Arrest in Kigali “a nightmare”

30 June 2010 by Hermione Gee

Peter Erlinder, lead defense counsel for top genocide suspects at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), was released from a Rwandan prison on June 18th. The law professor was charged with genocide denial after questioning the official Rwandan version of the 1994 genocide. Erlinder was detained on May 28th while in Kigali to defend opposition presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire.

He spoke to IJT’s Hermione Gee about his detention.

The arrest was a nightmare. I was having my breakfast coffee and finishing my croissant at the pool of my hotel when six young men surrounded me and very politely said come with us. They took me to a police facility, where I was held for about three hours or so. I was not questioned very much. Then we drove back to the hotel. They had a search warrant to search my room, but I had no idea what they were looking for. Everything I could ever be accused of saying is published on the web, so I was not sure what they expected to find in my room.

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