Protests planned to call for freedom of St. Paul professor held in Rwanda

Peter Erlinder in Rwandan court
Peter Erlinder, a law professor at the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn., who is charged with genocide denial appears in a Rwandan courtroom Monday June 7, 2010 for a bail hearing. His request to be released on bail was denied.

Protests are planned in New York and Minneapolis on Tuesday to call for the freedom of Peter Erlinder, a Minnesota law professor jailed in Rwanda.

Erlinder, who teaches at the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, is charged with denying Rwanda's 1994 genocide. He doesn't deny mass violence happened but says it's wrong to blame just one side.

The New York City chapter of the National Lawyers Guild plans to protest outside the Rwandan consulate from noon to 1 p.m. EDT. Erlinder is a former national president of the group.

His supporters also plan to gather outside the federal courthouse in Minneapolis at 5 p.m CDT.

Erlinder's family is not involved with the protests. His brother, Scott Erlinder, says they appreciate the support but don't want to make the situation worse.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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