Ann Garrison

Thursday, October 6, 2011

CIUT Taylor Report on Victoire Ingabire's Trial

Victoire Ingabire is on trial in Kigali, Rwanda, for contesting the history of the Rwanda Genocide codified in the Rwandan Constitution, and thus, contesting the dictatorship of a Tutsi elite, and, their invasion, plunder, and de facto colonization of neighboring Congo. CUIT-Toronto Host Phil Taylor and I talked about her trial on its opening day, September 5, 2011.
Everything we said that day remains true, one month into the trial. We didn't have time to explain that the U.S. is one of Rwanda's top donors, but Rwanda Genocide survivor Aimable Mugara did so in his essay "Do American taxpayers really want to pay Rwanda to keep Victoire Ingabire behind bars?" published on the website of the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper. 
When her trial resumed, after an adjournment, on October 4th, Victoire Ingabire herself said:  
"Prosecution should stop misleading the public that I am afraid. I here reconfirm that I am not afraid at all and that I have never violated any law while being in Rwanda and outside of Rwanda. I did nothing wrong against my country."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ann Garrison has moved from Blogger to Drupal

This blog has moved to a Drupal website,, with full search capabilities.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Political prisoner Ingabire under greater isolation

Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza
remains in maximum security prison in Kigali, Rwanda,
where she has now been more isolated.

Kigali 06 May 2011

Ms. Victoire Ingabire, FDU-INKINGI chairperson and Rwandan political prisoner  is spending her 204th day in captivity in maximum prison today.

More isolation measures are now in force. The party members who visited the prison today were not given a chance to see Ms. Ingabire. The jailers informed that they have orders to follow and that any other questions should be addressed to the Minister of internal Security. 

On 29 April 2011 a dozen FDU-INKINGI party members were chased away by the maximum prison security staff.  Security Minister Fazil Harelimana told the BBC-Kinyarwanda that Madame Victoire Ingabire “must herself submit in advance a list of 5 people prior to the visitation days because the government does not want anybody to disturb prisoners when they are watching TV, reading or enjoying their siesta."  The political prisoner is incommunicado and has no means to pre-screen and shortlist her visitors days before. This is enormously inconvenient and has the direct effect of making visits impossible.

Since January 2011, the defense counsel has not been allowed to take confidential instructions from the client due to continuous and persistent monitoring of their discussions by security operatives. Prompt access has been often denied too. Those persistent violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are seriously compromising all chances for a fair trial in Rwanda. 

We call upon President Paul Kagame and his government to consider the humanity of political prisoners and remove all those obstacles. 

Boniface Twagirimana
Interim Vice President.
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Rwanda and the Pentagon's Predator Drones

KPFA Weekend News, 04.23.2011:
KPFA Weekend News Host: The prevailing narrative  of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide is that extremist Hutus massacred 800,000 or more Rwandan Tutsi and moderate Hutu, who tried to protect them. But, many scholars, journalists, and human rights investigators now argue that both Tutsi and Hutu massacred one another because of their ethnicity.
The truth is now more and more significant for all Africa, as NATO wages war in Libya, and U.S. policy lobbyists promote a proposal to use Predator Drones to "stop genocide," specifically to stop the next Rwanda or Darfur from happening elsewhere in Africa, such as Libya or Sudan. KPFA's Ann Garrison spoke to a Rwandan American legal scholar and a Rwandan Genocide survivor about the Rwandan massacres of 1994.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Many social justice and environmental activists now decry as the cause of hunger and corporate land grabs, especially in Africa, to produce fuel for  wealthier parts of the world. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Erlinder v. Kagame and Victor's History

Rwanda Genocide, 1994.

KPFA Weekend News Anchor David Rosenberg: April 6th was the 17th anniversary of events that triggered the massacres that the world came to know as the Rwanda Genocide.   The history of the 1994 genocide and the ensuing war in Rwanda's resource rich neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo, are fiercely disputed by a growing number of scholars, journalists, and human rights investigators, and by Rwandan and Congolese opposition leaders, genocide survivors, exiles, and refugees.   Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Rwanda's 43-year-old opposition leader, and mother of three, remains in Rwanda's 1930 maximum security prison, charged with terrorism and disputing the official Rwanda Genocide history.  And, William Mitchell Law Professor and former National Lawyers Guild President Peter Erlinder has now published an 80-page, footnoted and documented report, in the DePaul University Law School's Journal of Justice, in which he argues that Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front regime bear responsibility for the Rwanda Genocide and Congo Wars.   

Professor Peter Erlinder in handcuffs in a
Kigali courtroom, with Kennedy Ogetto, the
Kenyan ICTR lawyer who flew to Kigali to
defend him when he was arrested after
flying there to defend Victoire Ingabire
Last year Kagame arrested and imprisoned Erlinder in Rwanda, after he had traveled there to defend Ingabire, and last week the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda came close to sanctioning him for refusing to return to Arusha, Tanzania, to defend another client.  Erlinder had said that he would not return because Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front agents might well assassinate, kidnap, or disappear him if he did.  The court did not acknowledge Erlinder's claim that his life would be in danger in Arusha, but they did excuse him after his doctor reported that he suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome as a consequence of his arrest and imprisonment in Rwanda last year.

KPFA's Ann Garrison spoke to Professor Erlinder by phone from his office at William Mitchell College of Law, in St. Paul, Minneapolis:

Ann Garrison:   Peter Erlinder, this story is still obscure to many KPFA listeners.  Could you explain why Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, would conceivably want to assassinate, kidnap, or disappear you?

Rwandan opposition leader
Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza remains
in Rwanda's 1930 maximum security
prison charged with terrorism and
genocide ideology, i.e., disagreeing with
the official history of the Rwanda
Peter Erlinder:  Well, during my work at the UN Tribunal, I had an opportunity to have access to the previously secret United Nations files that were kept by UN personnel in Rwanda during the time that's known as the genocide.   And those documents tell a completely different story than the story the world has heard about what happened in Rwanda during that time.  Also I was able to link that to US documents from the State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon and the documents from other countries. 

And I used those documents to defend my client and he and other military officers were acquitted of the charge of conspiracy to commit genocide, which means there was no plan on the part of the previous government and military.  

Ann Garrison:  And do the documents that you've assembled demonstrate that President Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Front regime are most responsible for the mass slaughter of 1994 which came to be the principle justification of the Kagame regime?  

Peter Erlinder:  Yeah, what the documents show is that the RPF were the dominant military power in Rwanda.  They were responsible for assassinating the Rwandan and Burundian Presidents, which touched off the mass violence.  They were in a position to stop the mass violence and didn't do so because of their desire to win the war.  And then once they did seize power continued carrying out violence against civilians.

Ann Garrison:  And what do those documents that you've assembled say about the ensuing Congo War?  

Peter Erlinder:  Well, the documents make clear that the RPF went on to carry out an invasion of the eastern Congo along with Uganda and then essentially to control the eastern Congo, which they do to this day.  And that was accomplished because of ongoing support from the Pentagon, and then, unfortunately, it becomes clear that this support was covered up as the ICTR began to develop.   

Ann Garrison:  Links to Professor Erlinder's report on the Rwanda Genocide and Congo War can be found on the websites of the San Francisco Bay View and 

For Pacifica, KPFA and AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison.

(SF Bay View link for press release and download link Erlinder's report, The United Nations Ad Hoc Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR-TPIR): International justice or judicially-constructed victors’ impunity?)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hate Speech: An Argument for Genocide, in the OpEdNews???

"Rwandans so poor to be sterilized"
Photo illustrating legal scholar Charles Kambanda's essay,
"Why sterilize the poor?"
Reading the OpEdNews, which the Wikipedia defines as United States-based, progressive/liberal newsactivism, and opinion website, on 04.06.2011, the 17th anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide, I came across some deeply dangerous, ethnic hate speech demonizing East/Central African Hutu people, in a piece of writing titled "Rwanda, a Light for the World."  

This piece of writing had already been promoted to the site's #3 headline, risen to #39 on the list of most viewed posts, and been reposted to Facebook four times. 

Its appearance, on a website that would never tolerate such talk of African Americans, Native Americans, or any other American ethnic group, demonstrates how widely accepted the official version of the Rwanda Genocide history, that Hutu extremists killed 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 100 days, is----and, how widely accepted the consequent demonization and/or dehumanization of East/ Central African Hutu people is.   In order for this to be published in the liberal, "progressive" OpEdNews, an OpEdNews editor had to approve it.

Most ethnic hate speech is based on inaccurate information, but even if the official version of the Rwanda Genocide history were accurate, it could not possibly justify this wholesale demonization of Hutu people, which comes very close to an overt argument for genocide and/or, one form of genocide--- the Kagame regime's plan to sterilize 700,000 adult Rwandan males, which legal scholar Charles Kambanda so eloquently deconstructs in "Rwanda: Why Sterilize the Poor?"   (The majority of Rwandans are Hutu, and, very poor.)

Specifically, the author, Olga Bonfiglio, writes:

"Mass migrations have taken place since 1959 when Tutsi refugees spilled into the neighboring countries of Burundi, Congo, Uganda and Tanzania because Hutu regimes preached hate and discrimination. President Paul Kagame, who led the rebel army against the Hutu government in 1994 and subsequently quelled the 100-day genocide, was among those Tutsi families who fled to Uganda.

Since the Tutsi takeover of government, 3 million Hutu have left the country, some of them still lusting after Tutsi blood. This massive dislocation of the population is unsettling for Rwandans as well as for their neighbors who are forced to host refugees they don't want. Meanwhile, Rwanda remains one of the poorest, most densely-populated countries in the world with scarce resources to boot."

Even as she claims to be praising Rwanda a model for ethnic reconciliation, Bonfiglio sounds as though she would really like to exterminate---e.g., by sterilization---this Hutu refugee population which is "still lusting after Tutsi blood," and is such a burden, not only to neighboring countries who don't want them, but also to Rwanda, which is already so poor and overpopulated without them.

Rwandan President
Paul Kagame
Best I can say is that Bonfiglio at least acknowledges that there was a Tutsi takeover of the Rwandan government in 1994, a reality that Rwandan President Paul Kagame and most of his other propagandists are still trying to deny, claiming that they have instead abolished ethnic identification and privilege based on ethnic identification.   

Bonfiglio seems strangely unable to perceive the contradictions between:

1)  Her claim, like theirs, that Rwanda is "the light of the world," a model of reconciliation, and, 

2)  Her acknowledgment of an ethnic Tutsi takeover, and, 

3)  Her hate speech demonizing and dehumanizing Hutu people as so many have since the Tutsi, Rwandan Patriotic Front victory in the Rwandan Civil War of 1990-1994

For alternative accounts of the violence known as the Rwanda Genocide, argued from evidence, listen to Professor Peter Erlinder Speaks on Rwanda Genocide, on, read Professor Peter Erlinder's The United Nations Ad Hoc Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR-TPIR): International Justice or Victor's Impunity, and/or Michel Chussodovsky's Rwanda: Installing a US Protectorate in Central Africa, on Global Research.