Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

AU warns 6,000 jihadists could return to Africa

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's accusers say #MeToo... again

Read more

THE DEBATE

Game Changer? Middle East Diplomacy after Trump's Jerusalem Move

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Niger's president warns Malian state 'could collapse'

Read more

FOCUS

USA: Voters speak out ahead of high-stakes Alabama Senate race

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Readying the eurozone for future storms: EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Russian influence, reforms, corruption: Challenges for Europe's Eastern partners

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Kidnapped and sold in Libya: Our Observer's story

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Son Little, Eminem, N.E.R.D & 'adieu' Johnny Hallyday

Read more

French writer on trial for inciting racial hatred in Rwanda book

Latest update : 2008-09-24

A French investigative journalist is on trial in a Paris court under accusations of inciting racial hatred in a book on the Rwandan genocide that described ethnic Tutsis as prone to lying and deceit.

 
French investigative journalist Pierre Pean went on trial Tuesday accused of inciting hatred in a book on the Rwandan genocide that described ethnic Tutsis as prone to lying and deceit.
   
"Noires fureurs, blancs menteurs" (Black furies, white liars) outraged the rights group SOS Racisme which filed a complaint in civil court, backed by the French state attorney.
   
"Investigating Rwanda is almost an impossible task given that lies and deceit have been elevated to an art form," wrote Pean in the book released in November 2005.
   
"The first Europeans who had prolonged contact with the Tutsis observed that they were trained in lying," he wrote.
   
The author of best-sellers on former presidents Francois Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac told the judge he considered the court case to be part of a smear campaign orchestrated by the Rwandan government.
   
"For the past three years, I have been dragged in the mud. At best, I am treated like a racist, at worst a denialist," the 70-year-old author told the judge.
   
"This is unbearable and in fact I couldn't bear it. Two months after I was charged, I had a heart attack."
   
SOS Racisme president Dominique Sopo accuses Pean of reproducing in the book some of the "prejudices in the genocidal ideology" that led to the slaughter of some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994.
   
About 30 historians, experts and politicians including former foreign minister Hubert Vedrine will be called to testify during the hearings until Thursday.
   
The Paris court is expected to deliver a verdict at a later date.
   
 

Date created : 2008-09-24

COMMENT(S)