Royal to revoke Freche's socialist party membership over racist comments
Socialist lawmaker was fined 15,000 euros for insulting as "sub-humans" Algerians who fought on France's side in their war of independence.
MONTPELLIER, France, Jan 25, 2007 (AFP) - A French Socialist lawmaker Thursday was fined 15,000 euros (20,000 dollars) for insulting as "sub-humans" Algerians who fought on France's side in their country's war of independence.
Georges Freche, the head of the southern Languedoc-Roussillon regional council, made the offending comments at a ceremony last February for colonists forced to flee Algeria after the 1954-1962 war.
Freche accused a group of veteran pro-French Algerian fighters of "licking the boots" of the French right which, he said, was responsible for the massacre of thousands of their kin during the war, calling them "sub-humans".
A dozen anti-racism groups were present to hear the lawmaker convicted of "insults towards a group of people because of their ethnic, religious or racial identity." Freche was not in court, but his lawyer said he planned to appeal.
Freche's verbal missteps -- he recently complained there were too many black players on the French football team -- have become an embarrassment for the Socialist Party and he recently announced he was stepping down for the duration of the presidential campaign.
Under pressure from anti-racism campaigners, the Socialist candidate Segolene Royal went further on Sunday, saying she thought he should have his party membership revoked.
Subject: French News, Socialist party, Racism