Chicago native arrested in Rwanda

June 1, 2010 4:16:56 PM PDT
An attorney who grew up on the South Side has been arrested in the African nation of Rwanda.

Peter Erlinder, 62, is a professor at Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. He went to Rwanda May 23 to defend a presidential candidate arrested for allegedly promoting genocidal ideology. Professor Erlinder was then arrested and accused of denying the nation's genocide.

Rwanda is a landlocked central African nation where an estimated 800,000 people were killed in a 1994 genocide.

"My brother stands up for principle. He stands up for human rights. And to call him a genocide denier is, is just truly unbelievable," said Scott Erlinder, Peter's brother.

Scott Erlinder, a Chicagoan, will fly with relatives to Washington, D.C. Wednesday to ask state department officials to help free his brother.


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