Imprisoned St. Paul law professor Peter Erlinder got an indirect shout-out from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Monday when she made her first public reference to his case in Rwanda.
Speaking at foreign policy round-table on Africa at the State Department, Clinton said the U.S. has expressed its concerns to the Rwandan government about recent political events in the African country, including the William Mitchell Law College professor's arrest for "genocide denial."
According to an Associated Press account, Clinton said she understood "the anxiety of the Rwandan leadership over what they view as genocide denial or genocide rejectionism."
But she was also quoted as saying "We really don't want to see Rwanda undermine its own remarkable progress by beginning to move away from a lot of the very positive actions that undergirded its development so effectively."
Though she didn’t refer by name to Erlinder, a defense attorney for the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, she is quoted as saying "I think there are ways of dealing with that legitimate concern other than politically acting against opposition figures or lawyers and others."
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