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French comic Dieudonne loses appeal to Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled against the controversial French comic Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, saying the right to free expression does not protect anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial.

Dieudonne, as the comic is known, ended a December 2008 show by inviting a prominent Holocaust denier on stage, then having an actor dressed to resemble a concentration camp victim offer him a prize.

He was convicted by a French court in October 2009 of hate crime charges and fined 10,000 euros (£7,000). He lost repeated appeals, until finally bringing it before the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights.

The court noted Dieudonne's stated desire to stage "the biggest anti-Semitic meeting since the last World War" and ruled on Tuesday that the show was not a show but the expression of an ideology.

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