A French court has summoned controversial French writer Pierre Pean for his book, Noires Fureurs, Blancs Menteurs (Black Furies, White Liars), that incites hatred and racial discrimination among Rwandans.
Pean’s book on the 1994 Genocide was published in 2005 and was widely criticised by different scholars and governments around the world.
Pean and his publisher Claude Durand are expected to appear before the seventh chamber of the French criminal court on February 5.
The two are expected to be charged with negationsism, denying and distorting the Genocide, racial defamation, provocation to discrimination, inciting violence and racial hatred.
Justice minister Tharcisse Karugarama said yesterday that Pean’s case is totally civil and that the government was not at all involved or represented in the case.
He however said: “I personally think that Pean’s views and attitude are really shocking; he makes the victims killers and turns killers into victims, he is a sadist in the extreme sense.”
He also expressed optimism in the French judiciary “since this is totally a civil case filed in a civil court, I am very confident that there will be a fair trial. If the court decides to summon witnesses from Rwanda, they will definitely go and testify, if they don’t then we still believe in the French justice system.”
A French based human rights body SOS Racisme together with Ibuka, an umbrella association of Rwanda Genocide survivors, filed a suit against Pean in October 2006, describing his book as negationist.