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French comic Dieudonne loses appeal to Court of Human Rights

Published 10/11/2015

French comic Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala ended a December 2008 show by inviting a prominent Holocaust denier on stage (AP)
French comic Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala ended a December 2008 show by inviting a prominent Holocaust denier on stage (AP)
Dieudonne invited a prominent Holocaust denier on stage, then had an actor dressed to resemble a concentration camp victim offer him a prize

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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