6/6/2010 Newsletter

Contents:

  • Demonstration to Demand the Release of Peter Erlinder

DEMONSTRATION TO DEMAND THE RELEASE OF PETER ERLINDER

Tuesday, June 8
5:00 p.m.
Federal Building
300 S 4th Street
Minneapolis

Peter Erlinder is a William Mitchell law professor and international human rights attorney.  He traveled to Rwanda to join the legal team defending opposition presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza.  He was arrested on May 28, 2010 by Rwandan police on false charges. He is being held in a Rwandan prison and has been hospitalized twice after interrogation sessions.  He is in grave danger.
 
In the run up to the national election, the administration of Rwandan president Paul Kagame has engaged in increasing repressive tactics including shutting down independent media and jailing opposition candidates and their supporters under a vague charge of “genocide ideology”­the same charge Professor Erlinder is now accused of.  The “Genocide Ideology Law” is vaguely worded, requires no link to any genocidal act, and can be used to criminalize a wide range of legitimate forms of expression.  Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and even the U.S. State Department have denounced it as a tool of political repression. The Kagame administration has used it widely to target political opponents.
 
The Obama administration has done little to address Professor Erlinder’s situation.  The state department and US embassy have referred to this incident as “a local matter.”  This is because the US backs the Kagame regime.

Professor Erlinder has a long history of providing legal assistance, often pro bono, in cases involving the death penalty, civil rights, claims of government and police misconduct, and criminal defense of political activists. He is a long-time supporter of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.  He was president of the National Lawyers Guild from 1993-1997 and is a current board member of the NLG Foundation. He has been a defense attorney at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda since 2003.

We MUST stand with courageous lawyers! Vigorous legal defense is NOT a crime! FREE PETER ERLINDER NOW!

Sponsored by Communities United Against Police Brutality. For more information, contact 612-874-STOP or www.cuapb.org.


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