Sen. Amy Klobuchar sent a letter to Rwanda's ambassador to the U.S. today urging that Rwandan authorities grant St. Paul attorney Peter Erlinder an expedited appeal hearing.
Klobuchar’s letter to James Kimonyo, the Rwandan ambassador, asked that the Rwandan court grant the expedited appeal on humanitarian grounds.
“To remain in prison for a prolonged period of time while awaiting another hearing could unnecessarily exacerbate Professor Erlinder’s situation,” Klobuchar wrote. “It is my sincere hope that his appeal will be heard quickly and that he will be released.”
On Monday, Erlinder’s request for bail was denied by a Rwandan judge, who ruled that his physical and mental health would not be endangered if he remains in prison. Erlinder’s attorneys have appealed that decision, which will be heard within 30 days.
Erlinder was arrested on May 28 in Rwanda, and charged last week with denying the country's 1994 genocide and for publishing articles that Rwandan authorities say threaten the nation's security. Erlinder pleaded not guilty.