Freedom of expression: ECHR condemns French comic about denying the Holocaust intention

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©Vincent Isore/IP3 press; Paris, France le 7 Septembre 2010 - Portrait d archive de l humoriste Dieudonne. Un arrêté municipal, publié ce mercredi 20 Avril interdit le spectacle de Dieudonné à Angers. La municipalite invoque le risque "de trouble à l'ordre public".- Dieudonne M Bala M Bala
Dieudonné judged in front of the French Court in 2008.

The European court on Human Rights dismissed Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala this morning. The court explained the decision. Dieudonné’s speech was deemed  as full of hatred and anti-semitism and the court added his show is not a humourous performance.
The ECHR did not reach a unanimous agreement as the judges issued a majority judgement.
The ECHR theory
The court estimated that Dieudonné’s behavior was inappropriate. On the one hand it said: « There’s no doubt about the anti-semitic content in the litigious passage of the speech. » On the other hand it criticized the fact that Dieudonné’s performance was no longer a show and had become a political meeting.
« A face-to-face and sharp attack»
Dieudonné’s artistic production conceals his real anti-Jewish opinions and it’s very dangerous according to the European court .
The artist’s defense said: “It’s impossible to cast doubt on sacralisation of the Jewish martyrdom. He didn’t manage.”
Seven years ago, the comic put on a controversial show at Zénith in Paris. He invited Robert Faurisson (Negationist man, who wrote a book about Jewish conspiracy theory) on the stage and he was applauded by the audience. The comic delivered him a price « pariah » dressed as a Jew. In 2008, the French court sentenced the offender to pay 10,000 euros stiff fine. It said: «  the right to humour has its limits and especially in cas of the respect of Human dignity ». But the French comic didn’t want to pay and appealed to the European court.

Frédèrique Lelong, IEJ3F Group 1


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