I don’t understand why the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is officially requesting the release of Peter Erlinder.
While I understand that he was a lawyer defending someone in Arusha, I think it’s strange that it would involve itself in matters that have nothing to do with it.
The fact of the matter is that Mr. Erlinder came to Rwanda, not as an ICTR lawyer for the defence. The charges that he faces involve statements and publications he wrote as a private citizen (albeit a lawyer and professor) in the United States.
So, my question is, why are you, ICTR, getting involved in this case? Even without knowing all the facts, you’ve jumped in and acted like he was a martyr.
If a defence lawyer was arrested and charged with drug trafficking, would you have made such noise? No? Why not? The fact is, the law is the law, and genocide denial is a crime in our country just as drug trafficking is a crime in others.
To ask us to release him without any legal basis is to ask Rwanda to be a lawless nation. And we refuse to become one.