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Associated Press, Published February 13 2009

A look at some of those killed in NY plane crash

Alison Des Forges

Des Forges, of Buffalo, was senior adviser for Human Rights Watch’s Africa division. Considered one of the world’s leading experts on the genocide in Rwanda, Des Forges testified at 11 trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda as an expert witness. She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999.

Des Forges was returning home to Buffalo after a trip to Europe, where she briefed diplomats on the situation in Rwanda and Africa’s Great Lakes region, said Emma Daly, spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch. She sent an e-mail to colleagues from the airport before boarding the plane.

“She was working till the end,” Daly said.

Des Forges had a “tremendous commitment to human rights and her tremendous principles,” Daly said.

“She made herself very unpopular with the Rwandan government by insisting that they be held responsible for the crimes they committed before the genocide,” Daly said.

Daly called Des Forges “a thorn in everyone’s side, which is a testament to her integrity.”

Des Forges was born in Schenectady, N.Y., in 1942. In 1964, she married Roger Des Forges, a University of Buffalo histor

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