Professor Erlinder is a longstanding critic not only of President Paul Kagame, but also of the U.S. Pentagon and State Department's manipulation of regional forces in East/Central Africa, and of U.S. use of Rwandan soldiers as military proxies on the African continent.
However, the U.S. is now, in accordance with its Constitutional obligation to protect its own citizens' and their freedom of speech, obliged to protect Professor Erlinder, as his Minnesota Senators and Congressional Representatives insisted
when he was under arrest in Rwanda in May and June of this year.
Former members of the government, now in exile, reported that Kagame
said “Erlinder’s release was a mistake” and that he and Paul Rusesabagina
of Hotel Rwanda fame, were responsible for drawing worldwide attention to the detailed 600-page UN report released Oct. 1, that exposes the role of Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front
and its army in the Congo “genocide” 1993-2003.
Erlinder notified federal and local law enforcement and the State Department of the threat from Kagame and requested protection both for himself and for the confidential source.
Regarding a return to Rwanda under these circumstances, Erlinder said:
"On Oct. 6, the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
declared the prosecution against me illegal under UN immunity rules, and I have no obligation to answer an illegal prosecution. Since my illegal arrest, UN reports of mass-murder by the Kagame regime in Rwanda and Congo, as well as assassinations and trumped-up prosecutions of Kagame’s opponents, make clear that returning to Rwanda would be suicide for anyone Kagame considers a threat to his absolute power."
Nearly all opposition leaders have been arrested, or killed in the past four months. The Rwandan government’s New Times, reported last week that Rusesabagina’s Hotel Rwanda Foundation was part of an Obama administration and UN conspiracy to discredit the Kagame regime. Last year Rwanda’s Ambassador publicly accused career U.S. State Department officer and former Ambassador to Rwanda, Robert Flaten, of supplying “guns to the genocidaires” at a meeting organized by Rev. Jesse Jackson
Erlinder also said:
"As Kagame's 'enemies' list' grows, the accusations take on the stench of desperation which only makes the regime all the more dangerous anywhere in the world, and I must take the death threats seriously. UN documents in evidence at the UN Tribunal show Kagame is responsible for the Rwandan Genocide already and RPF culpability for 6-million deaths in the Congo is now public too. A regime capable of these crimes is capable of eliminating its opponents anywhere it can reach them."
Professor Erlinder also says that, if he is prosecuted a second time, Rwanda will only further confirm the importance of the “Rwanda Documents Project
” that he has collected and put into evidence at the UN Tribunal for Rwanda that exposed the role of Kagame and the RPF in the “Rwandan Genocide” and provide further credibility to the threat the documents pose to the legitimacy of Africa’s most bloody dictatorship.