French writer breaks down at Rwanda genocide trial

PARIS (AFP) — French journalist Pierre Pean broke down in tears Wednesday on the second day of his trial for inciting hatred in a book on the Rwandan genocide after he was compared to a famous Holocaust denier.

Pean’s book “Noires fureurs, blancs menteurs” (Black furies, white liars) described ethnic Tutsis as prone to lying and deceit, prompting rights group SOS Racisme to file a civil complaint, backed by the French state attorney.

On Wednesday, the former Jewish student leader Benjamin Abtan told the court in Paris the mere mention of Pean’s name before survivors of the Rwandan genocide was enough to provoke a reaction of fear.

“In my reference book, that emotion can only recall the effect of the name ‘Faurisson’ on survivors of the Holocaust” he said, in a reference to convicted French Holocaust-denier, Robert Faurisson.

When he substituted “Jew” for “Tutsi” in Pean’s book, Abtan said he was immediately reminded of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”.

Denouncing the comparison as “intolerable”, the 70-year-old author broke down in tears, causing judges to adjourn the hearing.


Sep 24, 2008

Webmaster note: Pean should watch his posture more closely. He seems to have suffered irreparable damage to his backbone.