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UW-Madison Scholar at Risk

March 19, 2007

Theoneste Rutagengwa, a highly experienced Rwandan human rights activist and journalist, is on campus this semester as a visiting scholar. His visit here is being sponsored by the Division of International Studies, the African Studies Program of the International Institute, in conjunction with the Scholars at Risk Program and the Institute for International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund.

Mr. Rutagengwa was a member of Rwanda’s leading human rights organization, LIPRODHOR, and worked as a journalist until the situation in his country forced him to seek asylum along with his family in the U.S. Because he objected to violations by the coalition-based RPF government in Rwanda following the 1994 genocide, and took a position critical of both Hutu and Tutsi, he was imprisoned for two years on trumped up charges, a not uncommon occurrence in Rwanda. In the U.S., he spent 2005 at the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley as a visiting scholar.

This semester, Mr. Rutagengwa has taught a course at UW-Madison on post-conflict reconstruction and governance, and has been giving talks both on- and off-campus. He will speak Wednesday, April 11 at 12 noon in room 306 Ingraham Hall, on “Sharing Land But Not Views: Why is the Democratization Process Still Failing in Rwanda?”

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