French right-wing extremist presidential candidate Zemmour was fined for inciting racial hatred

PARIS, January 17 (Reuters) – French right-wing extremist presidential candidate Eric Zemmour was fined 10,000 euros ($ 11,400) on Monday for inciting racial hatred over remarks in which he called young migrants murderers, thieves and rapists.

Zemmour, a former political commentator, is competing with more established right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen and conservative Valerie Pecresse to challenge center-right president Emmanuel Macron in the April presidential election.

The trial concerned remarks he made on the right-wing channel CNews in 2020 about migrants arriving as unaccompanied children: “They have no reason to be here, they are thieves, they are murderers, they are rapists, that’s all they do , they should be sent back, “he said.

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Supporters of French right-wing extremist commentator Eric Zemmour attend a meeting in Beziers, France, on October 16, 2021. REUTERS / Eric Gaillard

For several weeks last year, opinion polls indicated that Zemmour, who also has previous convictions for inciting racial hatred, had a chance to become number two in the president’s poll and meet Macron in the bypass. His campaign has since lost some steam and he is now number four.

Zemmour said he would appeal the ruling. He stood by his comments from 2020, adding that the court condemned him for expressing his views. A senior CNews representative was also fined for Zemmour’s comments, lawyers said.

($ 1 = 0.8764 euros)

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Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau, Sudip Kar-Gupta, Tassilo Hummel Writing by Ingrid Melander Editing by Peter Graff

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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