France arrests 54 for defending terror attacks; crackdown orders announced

In the aftermath of last weeks Paris terror attacks, France’s Justice Ministry issued an order directing prosecutors to crack down on existing hate speech laws while announcing on Wednesday that 54 people were arrested.

The arrests “included four minors and several had already been convicted under special measures for immediate sentencing,”according to Yahoo News.

“France has been tightening security and searching for accomplices since the terror attacks began, but none of the 54 people have been linked to the attacks,” according to Yahoo News.

“That’s raising questions about whether President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government is impinging on the very freedom of speech that it so vigorously defends when it comes to Charlie Hebdo,” the report said.

Inciting terrorism can carry a five-to-seven-year prison term.  

Yahoo News reported: 

Like many European countries, France has strong laws against hate speech and especially anti-Semitism in the wake of the Holocaust. In a message distributed to all French prosecutors and judges, the Justice Ministry laid out the legal basis for rounding up those who defend the Paris terror attacks as well as those responsible for racist or anti-Semitic words or acts. The order did not mention Islam .”


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