Germany court rejects bishop's appeal of Holocaust denial conviction

[JURIST] A German court in Nuremberg on Friday rejected the appeal of bishop Richard Williamson, who was convicted of denying the Holocaust during a TV interview, finding him €1,800. The conviction [JURIST report] stemmed from an interview to Swedish TV channel SVT1, broadcast in January 2009, in which Williamson said he doubted [Die Zeit report, in German] that six million Jews were killed in gas chambers. The interview was rebroadcast over the Internet in Germany, where Holocaust denial is a crime [text, in German]. The appeal was Williamson's second as he had previously been convicted and had that conviction thrown out on procedural grounds.

Anti-semitism and the freedom of expression in relation to the Holocaust continue to be controversial topics internationally. A French court upheld the ban [JURIST report] on a performance by French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala that was deemed anti-semitic in January, generating much discussion [JURIST op-ed]. In November 2012, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] upheld an injunction preventing the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) [advocacy website] from using Holocaust [USHMM backgrounder] images in an animal rights poster campaign. A Canadian report in February 2010 found [JURIST report] that anti-semitism was rising in the population.

 

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