Royal to revoke Freche's socialist party membership over racist comments

25th January 2007, Comments 0 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.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News, Socialist party, Racism

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