France, a nation once known for its robust free-speech culture, is putting one of its senators on trial for saying “immigration kills the youth.”
Stéphane Ravier, a member of Eric Zemmour’s Reconquest party, will appear in a Marseilles court Thursday to face charges of “inciting hatred.”
Ravier’s crime? Drawing attention to the brutal murder of an 18-year-old Frenchman by an African immigrant.
In January 2022, Ravier tweeted a photo of the victim with the comment, “Theo, 18 years old, murdered yesterday by a Senegalese [migrant]… Immigration kills the youth of France.”
French politician on trial for speech
Ravier’s message attracted the attention of The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra) and the League for Human Rights (LDH), which filed a complaint for “incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence.”
Prosecutors took up the case, which accuses Ravier of “allegations or imputations undermining the honor or consideration of a group of people, in this case migrants, because of their origin or their membership or non-membership of an ethnic group, nation, race or religion.”
This isn’t Ravier’s first time in Marseilles court for “hate speech.” He was previously convicted and fined for making a demeaning comment about a female socialist politician whom he likened to part of the female anatomy.
Ravier was acquitted in that case last year after an appeals court found his speech was protected.
A former member of Marine Le Pen’s right-wing National Rally (formerly National Front), Ravier switched last year to Reconquest, which is headed by the provocateur, journalist, and 2022 presidential candidate Eric Zemmour.
Immigrants bring crime, backlash
Zemmour is known for his vocal commentary on the so-called “Great Replacement,” the idea that French people are being systematically replaced by foreigners from outside the West.
He has been convicted three times for inciting racial hatred by making controversial statements, most recently in January of 2022, when he was fined 10,000 euros for calling immigrant youths “rapists” and “murderers” who he said needed to be “sent back.”
Immigration from the Third World has left a major impact on French politics in recent years, owing to a rise in violent crimes and terrorist attacks perpetrated by foreigners mostly from the Islamic world.
The rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl in Paris last year by an Algerian national shocked France and fueled a fresh backlash.
Even France’s liberal president, Emmanuel Macron, has acknowledged that immigrants are responsible for “at least half” of crime in Paris.