Detained U.S. Law Professor Peter Erlinder Hospitalized in Rwanda

by Julian Ku

Detained U.S. lawprof Peter Erlinder was hospitalized in Rwanda over the weekend after five hours of questioning.

A St. Paul attorney jailed in Rwanda was hospitalized with high blood pressure today after being interrogated, according to his daughter and an attorney.

Peter Erlinder, who is charged with promoting genocidal ideology, is expected to be kept in the hospital overnight and returned to jail Tuesday, said Sarah Erlinder, his daughter.

The hospitalization came after Erlinder was interrogated for up to five hours today, said Gena Berglund, associate director of the International Humanitarian Law Institute of Minnesota. She said she didn’t know how much of that time had been Erlinder meeting with his attorneys and how much had been questioning.

It remains unclear what exactly the charges are against him and why he is being interrogated.  It sounds like Rwanda is alleging his representation of opposition figures, indeed, some of the arguments he has made in his legal defense, are the basis of the charges. If so, this would be deeply troubling to say the least.

3 Responses

  1. Headline has wrong first name.  It’s C Peter Erlinder, not Steven.

  2. The charge, according to a piece by Marjorie Cohn, is “negation of the Tutsi genocide”:

    And, yes, blood pressure can go up when you realize you are dealing with people ready to kill you. As I already commented: It would be unsurprising if Kagame’s government killed Erlinder and US administration failed to muster any serious protest against its darling, the main enabler of the coltan plunder in east Congo since 1994 for the benefit of the global communication industry.

  3. I am sure the Kagame government will assure us they are only using enhanced interrogation techniques.

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