The controversial French comedian Dieudonné was instructed by the Paris Court of Appeals to pay a fine of €9,000 (over £7,700) for mocking the Holocaust in a video.
Dieudonné, whose real name is M’Bala M’Bala, is a French comedian and political activist who has been convicted for hate speech and advocating terrorism, among other offences, in France and Belgium.
Mr M’Bala M’Bala faces the fine or a ten-month prison sentence following the rejection of his appeal for a conviction for publishing a video and a song entitled “C’est Mon choaaa” (“That’s my Shoah”). The fine was originally imposed in November 2019, but he appealed against the sentence. He also denied singing it or writing it, claiming that it was written by a prison inmate during a song-writing workshop.
The court ruled that the lyrics referred “unquestionably, by innuendo,” to the Holocaust (Shoah) which was being “mocked.” The court said that the right to humour invoked by Dieudonné conflicted with “another right – that of human dignity.”
Mr M’Bala M’Bala, 54, has attacked the “Zionist lobby”, claiming it controls the world, and he has been convicted more than twenty times on charges that include defamation, hate speech and endorsing terrorism in Belgium and France. Last year, he was given a two-year jail sentence and fined for tax fraud and money-laundering.
In 2013, Mr M’Bala M’Bala was recorded during a performance suggesting that it was a pity that a Jewish journalist was not sent to the gas chambers. The then-French interior minister, Manuel Valls, declared that Mr M’Bala M’Bala was an “antisemite and a racist” and he would seek to ban all his events as public safety risks.
Last summer, as social media platforms claimed to be stepping up their fight against hate content, Mr M’Bala M’Bala was permanently banned from several major online platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram, for his use of “dehumanising” terms in relation to Jews.