PARIS—A French far-right antisemite activist and essayist was sentenced on Monday by the Paris Criminal Court to one year in prison with an arrest warrant for challenging the existence of the Holocaust.
60-year-old Alain was convicted by the court for publishing on his website a litigious text written by his lawyer in regards to another case in which he disputed the existence of the Shoah, the extermination of six million Jews by the Nazis.
The conviction concerns an image published on Soral’s website Egalité et Réconciliation (Equality and Reconciliation) in 2016 in which a fictional newspaper called “Chutzpah Hebdo” bears a caption reading “disoriented historians”.
Before a Star of David, a likeness of Charlie Chaplin surrounded by a shoe, a wig, a bar of soap and a lampshade asks “Holocaust, where are you?”
The image was a reference to a controversial cover of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo depicting a young man asking “Daddy, where are you?” surrounded by dismembered body parts, published
Soral’s lawyer, Damien Viguier, was sentenced to 5000 euros fine for complicity, because of the content of these conclusions.
Both Soral and Viguier were also ordered to pay a symbolic one-euro fine reflecting damages as well as 1,500 euros in legal fees to four anti-racist groups.
Beyond the sentence of one year in prison, the Paris Criminal Court also issued an arrest warrant against him, confirming that for the first time, Alain Soral will indeed be behind bars.
Soral has already been condemned several times, especially for provocation to racial hatred.
The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra) hailed “the firmness of this decision” and called on web servers to close all of Soral’s websites.
For Sacha Ghozlan, President of the Union of Jewish Students in France (UEJF) – civil party association in this case, “This condemnation is an important victory against the anti-Semitic hater and Holocaust denier Alain Soral. Indeed, despite the many fines he has been sentenced to, he has never stopped spreading hatred. His place is in prison.’’
Crif, the umbrella representative group of French Jewish institutions, noted with satisfaction that the legal measures taken against Alain Soral are up to the seriousness of his actions.