With the arrest of Peter Erlinder for denying Rwanda’s 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, all sorts of nuts and conspiracy theorists are coming out of the woodworks. But Rwanda’s justice system must stand firm against attacks by foreigners who are hiding their racist and patronizing attitudes over one man’s arrest for flouting Rwanda’s laws.
True, Rwanda is a small country, but Rwandans are not small minded. Rwanda’s sovereignty must not be questioned by ill-intentioned Europeans and so-called American academicians. These are the very people who remained mum in 1994 when Rwanda was bleeding to death.
As Prosecutor General Ngoga remarked, ‘Erlinder knew Rwanda’s stand on genocide denial before arriving in the country. He made his bed, let him sleep in it.’
Apparently all genocide deniers are not equal! Writing in an article titled “Peter Erlinder Jailed by One of the Major Genocidaires of Our Era”, self-styled genocide deniers Edward S. Herman and David Peterson have stooped so low as to spew out falsehoods and utter nonsense over the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
These two men begin off by questioning Rwanda’s elections, alleging that they are never free and fair. It would not surprise me if they believe that George W. Bush won his first term! These two men absurdly ask how President Kagame could have won the last election by 94 percent when the majority of the country is Hutu.
Well, how small minded does one have to be to use this logic? Barack Obama just won by 53 percent, and the black population is less than 12percent.
Rwanda is not the only country with laws criminalising genocide denial: Austria, Belgium and France come to mind. I dare Erlinder and company to go to Israel and question the Jewish holocaust.
Or go stand in downtown New York and allege that the September 11 attack was a Jewish conspiracy as has been so ridiculously suggested.
I say, let Peter Erlinder have his day in court and let the chips fall where they may.