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17 Jan, 2022 14:54

Presidential hopeful fined for inciting hatred

Eric Zemmour, vying for France’s top job, was convicted for anti-immigrant remarks 
Presidential hopeful fined for inciting hatred

Journalist and essayist Eric Zemmour, who is running in the 2022 French presidential election, was fined €10,000 ($11,400) on Monday for inciting hatred against migrants on TV. 

A Paris court tried Zemmour for the remarks he made on a TV show in September 2020. 

While speaking about unaccompanied minors entering the country, the journalist said: “They’ve got no reason being here, they are thieves, they are killers, they are rapists, that’s all they do, they should be sent back.”

The broadcast took place days after a Pakistani-born Islamist went on a stabbing spree outside the former office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, wounding two people. 

The prosecution argued that Zemmour “crossed the limits of the freedom of expression.”  

Zemmour’s lawyer Olivier Pardo said his client will appeal Monday’s verdict. He added that Zemmour was voicing his political views and describing “the reality,” sometimes “in a brutal way.” 

The presidential candidate himself dismissed the ruling as “ideological and stupid.” 

Zemmour, known for his anti-migrant and anti-Islam statements, is a highly divisive figure in France. He was prosecuted around 15 times and convicted of incitement of hatred in 2011 and 2019. An appeal of the 2019 ruling will be decided on Thursday.

The French will vote for their president in April.