ADL Welcomes European Court Decision on Hate Speech

New York, NY, November 10, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed today’s decision by the European Court of Human Rights upholding a French court’s conviction of Dieudonné M’bala M’bala for incitement to hatred against Jews. 

The French performer, known as Dieudonné, has been repeatedly convicted and fined under French hate speech laws for anti-Semitic statements during his shows. 

“Dieudonné is a recidivist anti-Semite who appeals to anti-Jewish prejudices for laughs.  He mocks Holocaust survivors, invented an anti-Semitic salute, and has called for authorities to free the leader of the gang that murdered Ilan Halimi,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “While hate speech is constitutionally protected in the U.S., and properly so, we understand and respect the different legal regimes in European democracies.  Dieudonné's conduct clearly violated French law, and he should pay the consequences.”

The court rejected Dieudonné’s appeal, writing that a 2009 incident, which was the subject of the appeal, was “a demonstration of hatred and anti-Semitism and support for Holocaust denial.”