Lawmaker May Face “Hate” Charges For Controversial Statement 

( A French Senator is facing criminal charges for tweeting in January 2022 that immigration is killing “the youth of France,” La Provence reported. 

Senator Stéphane Ravier, a member of the Reconquest Party, was in the criminal court of Marseilles this week charged with incitement to discrimination, hatred, or violence over the January 11, 2022 tweet in which he responded to the news that a 62-year-old Senegalese migrant had murdered an 18-year-old. 

Ravier’s tweet prompted a complaint from the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra) and the League for Human Rights which alleged that the Senator was spreading hatred against migrants. 

Alain Lothe, an individual who is also party to the complaint, alleged that by posting the tweet, Ravier was not just reacting to the news of the murder but also chose to “highlight the nationality” of the murderer while also involving all immigrants. 

In 2022, Senator Ravier was convicted and fined 1,500 euros after a comment he made about a female socialist senator was deemed sexist. 

The leader of the Reconquest Party, Eric Zemmour, known for his fiery rhetoric against illegal migrants and radical Islam, also has several convictions over alleged hate speech. After claiming in 2021 that underage migrants were rapists, murderers, and thieves, Zemmour was tried for hate speech. He was convicted in January 2022 and fined 10,000 euros. 

According to constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley, France has been at the forefront of limiting free speech in the West, expanding its laws curtailing freedom of speech by using “vague standards” like “inciting” or “intimidating” based on religion or race. 

Turley notes that the father of former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was fined by a court for describing members of the Roma minority as “smelly.” In another case, a teenager faced charges after describing Islam as a “religion of hate.”