Garaudy fined $40,000 in France
"Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death."
A Paris court ordered French philosopher Roger Garaudy to pay 240,000 francs ($40,000) for challenging the existence of homicidal gas chambers in his book, The Founding Myths of Israeli Politics.
Garaudy, an 84-year-old convert to Islam, was found guilty of breaking a 1990 law that makes it illegal to question World War Two crimes against humanity as defined at the Nuremberg trial. He was also found guilty of "racial defamation", but was cleared of the charge of "provoking race hatred".
Garaudy was fined 120,000 francs plus an additional 120,000 francs for damages plus trial fees.
This case was the result of 5 legal proceedings against Garaudy. In January, the 5 cases were combined for the trial. The residing judge, Monfort decided he could not give a single sentence and therefore gave five different sentences:
The first charge was in regard to publication of the first edition of Les Mythes fondateurs de la politique israélienne. Garaudy and Guillaume were charged with questioning "crimes against humanity." Publisher, P. Guillaume had issued this title to subscribers only. Judge Monfort concluded that the plaintiffs had not supplied sufficient proof that the book had been publicized, therefore he considered that it had remained more or less confidential and he discharged both Garaudy and Guillaume.
The second charge against Garaudy was on account of the second edition of his book. Again, Garaudy was charged with questioning "crimes against humanity" and this time found himself sued by the public prosecutor and 10 Jewish or "anti-racist" associations. The judge ordered: a fine of 50,000 FF, and 10,000 FF damages to each of eight associations (the other two being inadmissible). In addition Garaudy was forced to publish a statement in the "Journal officiel de la Republique française." A similar Stalinesque forced apology was forced on Prof. Robert Faurisson on October 23, 1997.
The third charge against Garaudy also related to his questioning "crimes against humanity." Different passages from Garaudy's book were cited. The sentence was: 30,000 FF plus 10,000 FF damages.
The fourth charge related to an action brought by LICRA and two other organizations for defaming a private individual on account of his race, religion, etc. Garaudy was fined 20,000 FF and will have to pay the following trial fees: 10,000 FF to the LICRA and 5,000 FF to one of the two organizations.
The fifth charge was the result of the action brought by three organizations for incitement to racial discrimination and for defaming a private individual on account of his race, religion, etc. Garaudy was acquitted for the first charge but was found guilty for the second one. He was fined 20,000 FF and will have to pay the following trial fees: 10,000 FF to MRAP and 5,000 FF to one of the two associations.
Garaudy argued at his trial that he was only calling for a historical and scientific review of Nazi crimes. He wrote in his book that "the myth of the extermination of six million Jews" had become a dogma justifying Israel's repression of Palestinians. He has also disputed the numbers of Jews killed by Hitler and questioned the existence of gas chambers in death camps. Judge Jen-Yves Montfort said the 1995 book "outspokenly and systematically disputed" the Holocaust.
Outside the courtroom, members of a Zionist terror gang, Betar, shouted "Garaudy Nazi" and "Garaudy to prison." They insulted Arab journalists who flocked to the courtroom to cover the verdict and led attacks on Garaudy's supporters, injuring at least one elderly man.
Garaudy received wide support from Arab human rights activists. Few voices in the western media chose to mention the case and virtually none condemned France's human rights violations. So-called "human rights" organizations in the west have also been noticeably silent about the case.
Garaudy has decided that he will appeal the sentence.
Adapted from our correspondent in Paris and London Telegraph. Feb. 28, 1998
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Garaudy fined $40,000 in France, ThoughtCrime: 02/27/98|
|Sources:||"London Telegraph". Feb. 28, 1998|
|First posted on CODOH:||Feb. 25, 1998, 6 p.m.|