Peter Erlinder, the US defence lawyer at the international court for Rwanda (ICTR), was arrested for breaking the law on genocide denial in Rwanda. This is not a matter of “repression” of freedom of expression by the government in Kigali.
Mr Erlinder has made clear in speeches defending key genocide perpetrators at the ICTR, and at conference events such as that held in Belgium two weeks ago which welcomed wanted Rwandan genocide suspects alongside him as speakers, that he believes there was no organized Genocide in 1994.
Would Germany, with its strict Holocaust denial laws, be expected to allow genocide deniers to work and promulgate their views in its society and open court?
Yet again it seems there is one law for the west and one for Africa when it comes to genocide. The western media would do better to focus on the dozens of Rwandan suspects living in Europe with the apparent complicity – or at least judicial and political apathy – of governments here.
Dr Andrew Wallis
University of Cambridge