France Convicts Two for Distributing Leaflets
"Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death."
On April 10, the appeals court in Caen (Normandy) upheld convictions against Vincent Reynouard, a 23-year-old chemical engineer, and Remi Pontier, an information engineer, for distributing leaflets and stickers that question the existence of extermination gas chambers in Third Reich concentration camps.
The two defendants were convicted on the basis of the Fabius/Gayssot law of July 1990 that makes it illegal to call into question "crimes against humanity" as specified by the Nuremberg Tribunal. In practice, this law applies only to those who call into question alleged crimes against Jews.
Four organizations of wartime Jewish and non-Jewish deportees had brought the charges in this case.
Reynouard was given a two-month suspended prison sentence, and Pontier was given a 15-day suspended prison sentence. More important, the two were also ordered to pay a total of 6,000 francs (about $1,200) in damages to the four organizations, and 1,675 francs in court costs. In addition, the two will have to pay the possibly considerable cost of publishing an announcement about the verdict in a major daily newspaper.
As a result of their legal costs, the two young men are broke and not able to pay the fines. French law does not permit a third person to pay a fine on behalf of an accused person.
Adapted from IHR Newsletter July/August 1992 No.88 PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659.
Additional information about this document
|Title:||France Convicts Two for Distributing Leaflets, ThoughtCrime: 04/10/92|
|Sources:||IHR Newsletter July/August 1992 No. 88|
|First posted on CODOH:||June 29, 1996, 7 p.m.|