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Court suspends ban on a show by French comic

Court Watch     updated  2014/01/10 14:39


A French court has suspended a ban the city of Nantes imposed to prevent a show on Thursday night by a comic whose performances are considered anti-Semitic.

But Interior Minister Manuel Valls said he would appeal the ruling to the Council of State, France's highest administrative authority, to combat the "mechanics of hate."

The Nantes performance of Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala would kick off a national tour by the comic, who has popularized the "quenelle" hand gesture, which Valls has criticized as an "inverted Nazi salute."

In its ruling, the court called the ban a grave attack on freedom of expression. Jacques Verdier, lawyer for Dieudonne celebrated the ruling, saying: "The show will go on tonight."

Dieudonne has been convicted more than a half-dozen times for inciting racial hatred or anti-Semitism.

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