by the Forward

'Quenelle' Comic Dieudonne Loses $50K Damage Suit for Banned Shows

A French appeals court nullified a lower tribunal’s award of damages to the comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala for the cancellation of his show for its anti-Semitic content.

The Court of Appeals of Poitiers in western France handed down the ruling last week, Le Figaro reported.

It exempted an event management firm from the coastal municipality of La Rochelle from paying Dieudonne a little over $50,000 in damages that the municipality’s Tribunal of Commerce had awarded Dieudonne in 2012.

Dieudonne, who has 10 convictions for inciting racial hatred against Jews, sued the La Rochelle Evénements firm in 2009 when his performance at the Espace Encan event hall was cancelled.

His show, which featured anti-Semitic references, was cancelled on the orders of then-mayor Maxime Bono, who cited concern for public order. Devoid of a venue, Dieudonne performed from inside a parked bus. The event management company appealed the ruling.

Dieudonne recently announced that he would start a political party with Holocaust denier Alain Soral.

Earlier this year, then-interior minister Manuel Valls asked French municipalities to ban Dieudonne’s latest show for its anti-Semitic content. Dieudonne cancelled that show and launched a new one, which reportedly had less anti-Semitic content.

Separately, the Correctional Tribunal of Paris court last week acquitted the avowedly anti-Semitic French writer Herve Ryssen of a lawsuit that was filed against him over the dissemination of posters that carried his name and the words “Jewish mafia – the big international predators.”

The posters appeared in 2010 in the Paris region and in the Swiss city of Geneva, among other places, according to a report Wednesday on the website of Soral, the Holocaust denier. The report said the posters were “spontaneous and anonymous expressions of support” for Ryssen, according to the report.

In a separate case, the same court slapped the blogger Boris Le Lay with a $6,305 fine for writing that Jews were likelier to rape and owned “an exclusive, parasitical nature,” the AFP news agency reported Tuesday.

This story "'Quenelle' Comic Dieudonne Loses $50K Damage Suit for Banned Shows" was written by JTA.


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