Rights activist killed on flight 3407 was native of Niskayuna

One of the people confirmed killed in the tragic crash of flight 3407 was Alison Des Forges, a world-known human rights activist, and, as NEWS10 has learned, a Niskayuna native.

66-year-old Des Forges spent years chronicling genocide and other abuses in Rwanda, winning a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” for her work.

She is also honored in the Niskayuna High School Hall of Fame.

Des Forges was killed as she returned home from Europe, where she had briefed diplomats on the situation in Rwanda. She sent an e-mail to colleagues from the airport before boarding the plane.

Des Forges was born in Schenectady and married to Roger Des Forges, a University of Buffalo historian. She is also survived by two children and five grandchildren.

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