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.