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A former local election candidate for the far-right Front National in France has been sentenced to nine months in prison for comparing the country’s justice minister Christiane Taubira, who is black, to a monkey.
Anne-Sophie Leclere provoked a storm last year when she compared Christiane Taubira to a monkey on French television and admitted posting a photo montage on Facebook that showed the justice minister, who is from French Guiana, alongside a baby chimpanzee.
The caption underneath the baby monkey said “At 18 months”, while the one under Taubira’s photograph read “Now”.
Leclere was a Front National candidate in Rethel for the 2014 local elections, but the anti-immigration Eurosceptic party soon dropped her and went on to do well in the March polls.
On Tuesday a court in Cayenne, French Guiana’s capital, sentenced her to nine months in jail, banned her from standing for election for five years, and imposed a €50,000 (£39,500) fine. French Guiana is an overseas region of France and is inside the European Union. It also handed the FN a €30,000 fine, putting an end to a case brought by French Guiana’s Walwari political party, founded by Taubira. The court went well beyond the demands of prosecutors, who had asked for a four-month jail sentence and a €5,000 fine. Both Leclere and the Front National will appeal the sentences.
Source: The Independent / The Guardian