STRASBOURG, France — Europe's top human rights court has rejected an appeal by 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 he is known, finished a December 2008 show by inviting a prominent Holocaust denier on stage, then having an actor dressed to resemble a concentration camp detainee offer him a prize. He was convicted by a French court in October 2009 of hate crime charges and fined 10,000 euros. 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 Tuesday that the show was not a show but the expression of an ideology.