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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Benjamin Sehene vs Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka: the fictional trial of a genocide priest
Author:Hitchcott, NickiISNI
Year:2012
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies (ISSN 1369-6815)
Volume:24
Issue:1
Pages:21-34
Language:English
Geographic terms:Rwanda
France
Subjects:novels
genocide
1994
offences against human rights
clergy
About persons:Benjamin Sehene
Wenceslas Munyeshyaka
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13696815.2012.666860
Abstract:The first francophone Rwandan novel published since the 1994 genocide, Benjamin Sehene's 'Le Feu sous la soutane' (Fire Beneath the Cassock) is a fictional exploration of a Catholic priest's involvement in the genocide. Published in 2005, the novel is inspired by the true story of the infamous Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka who, despite indictments and a conviction for crimes against humanity, including genocide and rape, lives and works with impunity as a parish priest in France. Having revealed the real-life story on which 'Le Feu sous la soutane' is based, this article analyses the fictional reconstruction of Munyeshyaka's story as presented in Sehene's novel. It considers the ways in which Sehene submits Father Munyeshyaka to a trial by fictional proxy. In reading the novel as a fictional trial, the article suggests that Sehene's novel goes some way towards exposing the failure of current systems of justice to respond adequately to crimes against humanity. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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