French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, also known as just "Dieudonne", attends a news conference at the "Theatre de la Main d'or" in Paris on January 11, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
*Editors: This photo can only be used with RNS-FRENCH-COMEDIAN, originally transmitted on Jan. 30, 2015

Euro court rejects French comic’s plea over fine for anti-Semitism

PARIS — The European Court of Human Rights has rejected claims by a French comedian that his right to speak freely was denied when he was convicted and fined in France for insulting Jews. The court said Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, a provocative performer who has been repeatedly accused of hate speech and anti-Semitism, could not claim the protection of free speech guarantees in the European Convention on Human Rights. Siding with the French court that convicted him in 2009, the European rights tribunal said on Tuesday (Nov. 10) that it would not hear his appeal of the conviction because the show that led to it was “unmistakably negationist and anti-Semitic in nature.” READ: Republicans predict Iran deal will gain them Jewish votes in 2016

“If admitted, (the appeal) would contribute to the destruction of Convention rights and freedoms,” the court based in the eastern French city of Strasbourg said in a statement explaining its decision to reject his application.