St. Paul, MN — Prof. Peter Erlinder, international human rights activist and captive of Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame, has filed suit charging Dean Eric Janus of Wm. Mitchell College of Law with violations of state and federal laws outlawing discrimination and retaliation against Americans with disabilities, and other employee protections.
According to the civil complaint filed in Ramsey County by Erlinder’s attorney, Peter Nickitas:
“Dean Janus was informed of Prof. Erlinder’s ptsd symptoms soon after he returned from Rwanda following the worldwide campaign for his release. A day after doctors told Janus ptsd trauma-survivors, like Prof. Erlinder, do NOT present a threat to others, Janus ordered Prof. Erlinder expelled from campus based on “ptsd-equals-dangers-to-others” stereotyping. Combat veterans and abuse survivors often face the same kind of on-the-job discrimination.”
Erlinder came to WMCL after having been on the faculty of the University of Chicago and Illinois Institute of Illinois Law Schools. Ironically, he first came to international prominence after winning the first successful ptsd defense of a Vietnam Veteran in history in State v. Jearl Wood, almost exactly 30 years ago.
His work at the UN Rwandan Tribunal discovered new evidence that supported former UN former Prosecutor Del Ponte’s conclusion that Rwanda’s President Kagame should be prosecuted for assassinations and war crimes. His writings agreeing with the former Prosecutor nearly resulted in his assassination in 2010, according to the UN.
His recent academic articles deal with treaty rights for the Chippewa, with important considerations for ventures like PolyMet; pipelines crossing Minnesota; and the rights of individual Ojibwe people to support themselves by living off the land.
The suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000.
The Rwandan Genocide was not “masterminded.” See Peter Erlinder, Aljazeera, 02.03.2014:
Following is a .pdf version of the final manuscript:
The Accidental Genocide
By Prof. Peter Erlinder, Director, International Humanitarian Law Institute; Lead Defense Counsel, UN ICTR, Military-1; past-Pres., UN ICTR Association des Avocats de la Defense.
“An expose of the US and UK role in the cover-up of US/UK ally Paul Kagame and his RPF forces in the assassination of the two presidents that triggered the Rwanda Genocide.”
The publication of The Accidental Genocide is especially relevant, given that 2014 is the 20th anniversary year of the “Rwandan genocide.” This book includes much of the evidence put into the ICTR record by IHLI Director Prof. Peter Erlinder, which resulted in ALL military and civilian leadership of former Rwandan government being acquitted by the UN International Rwanda Tribunal of long-term planning and conspiracy to commit genocide.
“the Prosecutor has not shown that…Rwanda’s ex-military or government…conspired to commit genocide…” UN Tribunal Appeal Chamber – Dec. 2011
Prof. Erlinder was imprisoned by the Kagame regime in Rwanda in 2010 as an “enemy of the state” while representing Rwandan Presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire, who has been a Kagame prisoner there since 2010. Charges were based solely on writing about the acquittals of the former government leaders on charges of conspiracy and planning to commit genocide, not on any acts committed in Rwanda. The UN eventually upheld his immunity from prosecution.
The Accidental Genocide presents original UN and USG documents that chronicle the creation of the RPF by the Pentagon in 1991-93, and the cover-up of RPF crimes by the Clinton State Department, using the ICTR, as early as September 1994. The documents featured in the book are taken directly from suppressed original UN and USG files, with maps and connecting narrative.
Between October, ’93 and April, ’94 three Rwanda/Burundi presidents were killed military-style within 6 months; massacres by the ruling Tutsi military of Hutu peasants swept Burundi in late 1993; mass violence spread to Rwanda only after the RPF assassinated the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi on April 6, 1994.
In her 2009 memoir, former Chief UN Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte explained she was fired from her ICTR post by US Ambassador Pierre Prosper on May 15, 2003 for refusing to drop the prosecution of Paul Kagame for the presidential assassination that triggered the mass violence in Rwanda, and RPF mass crimes committed during 1994. Similar RPF crimes in Congo are fully documented in the 600-page October 2010 UNHCHR “Mapping Report” on Crimes in the Congo, 1993-2003.
In August 2011, US Amb. Stephen Rapp, former deputy ICTR Chief Prosecutor, announced that the US State Department considered Kagame liable for prosecution for crimes committed by his troops in the Congo from 2003 to the present, thus confirming the criminal nature of the Kagame regime whose interests Rapp defended as ICTR deputy Chief Prosecutor after Del Ponte was fired by the U.S. State Dept. in 2003.
The re-publication of the original September 1993 UN Reconnaissance Report on Rwanda by UN General Romeo Dallaire was the first volume in the International Humanitarian Law Institute “Rwanda Genocide Papers” Series of selected, previously-suppressed, UN and US government documents. These long-suppressed documents reveal a completely different “Rwanda genocide” narrative than the “long-planned genocide” myth promulgated by the Rwandan Patriotic Front [RPF] victors in the 1990-1994 war for power, which has been promoted by the US and UK… at the expense of the truth reflected in documents in the evidentiary record at the UN-ICTR and now, in the public record.
These documents were originally made public when IHLI Director Prof. Peter Erlinder first gained access for their inspection under court order in the ICTR Military-1 Trial. And, as a result, three different trial panels at the ICTR have acquitted ALL of the national level military and government officials of “conspiracy for planning to commit genocide” tried so far, including the supposed “architect of the genocide,”
Even the supposed “architect of the genocide,” Col. Bagosora, was finally convicted of failing to properly supervise troops on April 7, 8, 9, …in December 2011. The ICTR trial judges have unanimously found insufficient evidence to support the “long-planned genocide,” when presented with the formerly secret UN and US government documents first introduced in the Military-1 case by Lead Counsel for Major Aloys Ntabakuze, IHLI Director, Prof. Erlinder.
Documents collected in these volumes are part of a larger on-line collection, in the IHLI database at: rwandadocumentsproject.net.
On October 1, 2011, Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa, formerly Rwanda’s Ambassador to the United States, issued a public apology to the Rwandan People for his role in the RPF cover-up of Paul Kagame’s assassination of the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi on April 6, 1994, the war crime that triggered the genocide.
On November 28, 2011, at the IHLI Rwandan Truth and Reconciliation Roundtable, Rudesingwa publicly apologized to Madam Habyarimana, the widow of the slain Rwandan President Habyarimana…despite the very real threat to his own life from the Kagame regime for his honesty. Although too-long delayed, and she forgave him for his role in the cover-up of RPF crimes, in the spirit of reconciliation which will be necessary to heal the suffering of both Hutu and Tutsi Rwandans.
Professor Peter Erlinder is current Director of the International Humanitarian Law Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, a non-profit, independent research and policy center, “For the Advancement of Due Process and Equality Before the Law, in the Theory and Practice of International Criminal Law.”
He is past-President of the National Lawyers Guild, 1993-1997, President of ADAD (the UN-ICTR defense lawyers associations, Arusha, Tanzania), a founding member of the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms and the Minnesota Bill of Rights Defense Coalition, established to defend the civil liberties of Muslims.
Erlinder pioneered defense of Vietnam Veterans with PTSD facing the death penalty, and has represented many Native American, civil rights, Muslim and political activists facing misuse of government power, including Palestinian activist Dr. Sami al Arian and the Cuban-5.
In May 2010, he was imprisoned in Rwanda while defending Rwandan presidential candidate, Victoire Ingabire, and charged with “genocide denial” for having won the acquittal of his ICTR client on “genocide conspiracy” charges. Many groups, including the National Lawyers Guild, the American Bar Association, and members of the U.S. Senate and House called for his release, which was eventually won by an international grass-roots campaign.
After his release from Rwanda, Erlinder returned to the tenured faculty at William Mitchell College of Law, St Paul, MN. He has also held faculty positions or lectured at the University of Chicago Law School, IIT-Chicago Kent, Golden Gate University, Waseda University, Hitosubashi University, University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, Columbia University, American University, and others.
His articles and commentary have been published by University of Pennsylvania, Boston College, Northwestern University, University of Texas, University of Southern California, and others, and print and electronic media worldwide.
According to a U.N. report, Rwanda’s defense minister is commanding a rebellion in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that is being armed by Rwanda and Uganda, both of which sent troops to aid the insurgency in a deadly attack on U.N. peacekeepers.
The U.N. Security Council’s Group of Experts said in a confidential report that Rwanda and Uganda – despite their strong denials – continued to support M23 rebels in their six-month fight against Congolese government troops in North Kivu province.
“Both Rwanda and Uganda have been supporting M23,” said the 44-page report, which was seen by Reuters on Tuesday. “While Rwandan officials coordinated the creation of the rebel movement as well as its major military operations, Uganda’s more subtle support to M23 allowed the rebel group’s political branch to operate from within Kampala and boost its external relations,” it said.
KINSHASA (Reuters) – The European Union has frozen further budgetary support to Rwanda over allegations that the Central African state supports anti-government rebels in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, the EU’s ambassador to Congo said on Wednesday.
The EU is the latest western partner to impose aid suspensions against Kigali over an independent United Nations report that said Rwanda was behind a six-month rebellion in Congo’s eastern hills, which has forced 470,000 people to flee their homes.
“It was agreed to freeze the program of budgetary assistance and to not agree to any supplementary budgetary credit for Rwanda without them giving signs of co-operating,” Jean-Michel Dumond, the EU’s ambassador in Kinshasa, told the U.N.-backed broadcaster Radio Okapi.
Rwandan opposition parties in exile are to ask the international criminal court to press charges against the country’s president, Paul Kagame, after a UN report accused his regime of supporting rebel forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Representatives of the United Democratic Forces party and the Rwandan National Congress will travel to The Hague on Friday to demand that the court examines claims that Kagame’s regime is recruiting and arming the rebels in an attempt to annex the DRC’s Kivu provinces. They also want an investigation into suggestions that Rwanda is stealing eastern Congo’s mineral resources.
In late July the head of the US war crimes office, Stephen Rapp, suggested that Kagame and other implicated Rwandan government figures could face prosecution at the ICC if M23 committed atrocities in the DRC. Rapp said Kagame could potentially face charges of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity in the DRC.
Rwandan and Congolese groups opposed to Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s rule asked the International Criminal Court on Friday to investigate him for war crimes for allegedly backing rebel groups in eastern Congo.
A small group gathered outside the court in The Hague, Netherlands, with banners reading “Kagame Assassin,” and “Freedom for Congo.”
The gesture is symbolic, as Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has not said whether she has any plans to investigate Kagame — though she is already probing members of the M23 rebel group in eastern Congo that formed this April with alleged ties to his regime across the border. Kagame denies involvement.
Christopher Block, a lawyer for the groups that want Kagame investigated, said Friday that Bensouda need only turn to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to launch a case against Kagame, asserting it has a “mountain” of evidence against him in its archives. Kagame has been an important military leader in Rwanda since 1990 and its president since 2000.
The Rwanda tribunal itself, based in Tanzania, never pressed any charges against Kagame.
A “visionary leader,” said Tony Blair; “one of the greatest leaders of our time,” echoed Bill Clinton. Such hero worship is usually reserved for South Africa’s Nelson Mandela. But Blair and Clinton were describing the president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame.
The UK and US have staked their pride, reputations and ability to judge character, not to mention hundreds of millions of pounds in aid, on Kagame’s powers of post-genocide healing and reconciliation matching those of Mandela after apartheid.
That is why the US decision to cut aid, and now to warn Kagame that he could even face criminal prosecution over meddling in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, is a humiliating but long overdue reversal.
The head of the US war crimes office has warned Rwanda’s leaders, including President Paul Kagame, that they could face prosecution at the international criminal court for arming groups responsible for atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Stephen Rapp, who leads the US Office of Global Criminal Justice, told the Guardian the Rwandan leadership may be open to charges of “aiding and abetting” crimes against humanity in a neighbouring country – actions similar to those for which the former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, was jailed for 50 years by an international court in May.
Rapp’s warning follows a damning United Nations report on recent Rwandan military support for M23, an insurgent group that has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes since April as it has seized territory in the eastern DRC.
The group is led by Bosco Ntaganda, known as the Terminator, who was indicted by the international criminal court six years ago for war crimes including the forced recruitment of child soldiers. The UN report accuses Rwanda of shielding Ntaganda from justice.
On Saturday, Washington said it would halt some military aid to Rwanda after the UN report.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has released a Rwandan rebel leader after judges ruled there was not enough evidence against him.
Callixte Mbarushimana, a Hutu rebel leader, had denied ordering his fighters to kill and rape civilians in 2009.
Mr Mbarushimana, a spokesman for the FDLR movement, is the first suspect brought to the court to be freed.
Earlier this month, the court said that “there was not sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds” to believe that he could be held criminally responsible.