US lawyer jailed in Rwanda, now free, says US Embassy refused to help him get food, medicine

By Jason Straziuso, AP
Sunday, June 20, 2010

US lawyer jailed in Rwanda: US Embassy didn’t help

NAIROBI, Kenya — A U.S. lawyer released from a Rwandan prison on medical grounds says the U.S. Embassy did not help him secure food or medicine while he was in prison.

Peter Erlinder spoke to the media in Kenya on Sunday for the first time since his May 28 arrest.

The 62-year-old Minnesota law professor credited Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for winning him medical bail after Clinton said Rwanda shouldn’t act against lawyers.

Rwandan authorities detained Erlinder on suspicion of minimizing the country’s genocide but haven’t yet charged him. The 1994 genocide killed more than 500,000 Rwandans, mostly ethnic Tutsis. Erlinder said Sunday there was a genocide against Tutsis but added that evidence may show even more Hutus died.

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