A European court condemns France for punishing pro-Palestine activists who called for a boycott of Israeli products

 The European Court of Human Rights condemned today, Thursday, France for violating the freedom of expression of pro-Palestine activists who had been convicted in 2013 for calling for a boycott of products imported from Israel.

The European Union Judicial Authority said it “notes that the actions and statements attributed to the complainants fall within the context of political and militant expression and relate to a matter related to the public interest”, and considers that their conviction in 2013 by the Court of Appeal in Colmar “is not based on clear and sufficient motives.”

Eleven members of the Collective Ballistic 68 grouped in 2016 resorted to court. In 2009 and 2010, they participated in movements in a large supermarket in Elzak near Mulhouse to call shoppers to boycott Israeli products, as part of the "boycotting sanctions imposed" campaign.

In its statement, the court said, "Political discourse is inherently intense and often a source of controversy. But it remains in the public interest unless it turns into an invitation to violence, hate and intolerance."

The France-Palestine Association said in a statement that "the call to boycott is recognized as a citizen's right."

The court imposed on France to pay each of the complainants "380 euros as compensation for material damages and seven thousand euros as compensation for moral damage, and the group of plaintiffs twenty thousand euros as compensation for expenses."

 

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