Skip to Content

Damien Rieu. Screenshou from YouTube
Gap

Three French Identitarians receive harsh prison sentences for Alps action

On Thursday, three representatives of the French chapter of the Identitarians, Damien Rieu, Clement Galant and Romain Espino, received heavy penalties for their participation in the operation to stop illegals from crossing into France.

Published: August 31, 2019, 11:52 am

    The three members were sentenced to six months in prison, while the organisation itself was fined €75 000 by a court in the Hautes-Alpes town of Gap.

    During their operation, they caught and handed over four illegal migrants to authorities. Despite that, the defendants were prosecuted for “activities carried out under conditions likely to create confusion in the minds of the public with the exercise of a public function”.

    Clément Gandelin (known as Galant), 24, president of Génération Identitaire, Romain Espino, 26, organiser and spokesman, and former organiser Damien Lefèvre (known as Rieu), 29, also received hefty fines of €2 000 each.

    The court claimed that the sentence was handed down because of the “extremely serious nature” of the offence as well as the large “disturbance of public order”.

    The operation launched by the Identitarians on the Col de l’Échelle, a crossing point for many illegals in the Hautes-Alpes, on April 21, 2018, saw at least a hundred volunteers dressed in blue jackets forming a “symbolic border”.

    Rieu, who has 50 000 followers on a verified Twitter account, denounced the harsh sentence, saying that the prosecutors had “decided to persecute young Frenchmen who dare to prove symbolically and peacefully that defending our borders is possible.” He also requested donations via a Tipeee account.

    Pierre-Vincent Lambert, the lawyer for the defendants, said they would appeal the decision. “My clients are extremely determined.” He also believes that the court’s decision was based on a false legal argument.

    “It is necessarily so, since my clients have been convicted of an offense that is not characterized. They are accused of having exercised ‘an activity likely to create confusion in the minds of the public with the exercise of a public office’.

    “In other words, my clients pretended that they were police or gendarmes, which is strictly inaccurate. The action was explicitly labeled ‘Identity Generation’. From pick-ups to the helicopter to the banners brandished during the operation, the words ‘Defend Europe’ appeared everywhere,” Lambert pointed out.

    The reasoning that the judges adopted was following some kind of an expanded interpretation of the offense, Lambert explained. “They considered that the assumption that my clients ‘had the intention’ [sic] to pretend to be agents of public authority, could not be ruled out.

    “And it did not matter [to the court] that none of the people mentioned in the case – neither the borders activists and nor the migrants in particular – thought for a moment that they were policemen or gendarmes.”

    According to Lambert, this was a political decision. “Otherwise, the court would not have bothered to pronounce the annulation of the civil and political rights of my clients for 5 years. Nobody has been fooled,” he said. The Indentitarians were targeted to stop them from voting or standing for an election.

    The day after his conviction with two other activists to six months in prison, Rieu confided in Valeurs Actuelles that this verdict would not alter their determination. “We will continue our fight against those who impose on us an undesirable African immigration. We are all the more determined because we know the majority of French people are with us.

    “It is not us who say so, but the FIFG, which, in a 2018 survey for the JDD, showed that 64 percent of French people did not consider it desirable to receive additional immigrants.

    After the Gap Criminal Court sentenced the three leaders, several members of the National Rally responded to this sanction, reported Europe 1. For them, this conviction is the symbol of the bias of French justice.

    “How can we not doubt the impartiality of justice when young people are sentenced to prison for carrying out a peaceful action?” protested Nicolas Bay, member of the executive of the RN party. “These activists, who only demanded the application of the law and the protection of our borders, should be supported,” he added.

    The spokesman of the RN, Sébastien Chenu, went even further in his condemnation on Twitter: “If the death penalty still existed, Damien Rieu would be sent to the scaffold with such justice!” he argued.

    The head of the list of the National Rally for Europe, Jordan Bardella said a double standard prevails in France. “To demand the application of the law, to be a young person who defends his country and his people, means prison in France in 2019?

    “At the same time the worst criminals enjoy a staggering laxity” he continued, saying it was “very disturbing”.

    Thierry Mariani, recent defector of the Republicans, drew a parallel between the Identitarians and an open-border activist Cédric Herrou. The latter is known to have helped migrants enter illegally into France. He received only a four-month suspended prison sentence before this decision was also finally annulled on appeal.

    Génération Identitaire was established in France in 2012, It now operates in several European countries, including Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    World Population Foundation: Africa needs more contraceptives

    NairobiThe managing director of the German Foundation for World Population (DSW), Renate Bähr, has called for stronger measures to limit population growth in Africa on the occasion of the World Population Conference in Kenya.

    US threatens Serbia with sanctions over S-400 purchase

    BelgradeWashington is threatening Serbia with sanctions to stop the country from buying Russia's advanced S-400 air defense missile systems.

    Leftwing Italian daily inflates number of anti-Semitic attacks

    RomeA report on the issue is clear: The data used by a newspaper on the hot topic refer to 2018, not to 2019 and 197 anti-Semitism episodes per year, not 200 per day.

    Chisinau Forum: Arnaud Develay on the Rule of Law in the age of Imperial Collapse

    ChisinauThe Chisinau Forum aims to bring together those who feel compelled to preserve the flickering light of sovereignty and national independence in their respective countries, says Arnaud Develay, an international lawyer at the Washington and Paris bar.

    Le Pen denounces march against Islamophobia ‘with Islamists’

    ParisAccording to the president of the National Rally, the personalities who associated with the march against Islamophobia, including Jean-Luc Mélenchon, carry "a very heavy responsibility" and will have to "respond to it when the election comes".

    French Senator warns of globalist-engineered ‘Great Replacement’

    ParisAs a result of a mass migration agenda engineered by anti-Western elites, the French people are being replaced, warned Senator Stéphane Ravier.

    Migrants in Bosnian town ‘are everywhere’

    In the Bosnian border town of Bihać, the situation has become dramatic. Bihać is a transit station for migrants on their way to Central Europe, mostly to Germany.

    Italian Interior Minister reveals Libyan stranglehold on illegal immigration

    RomeThe Italian government's memorandum with Libya has shaken up the political debate, mainly because it has revealed the extent of Libyan leverage on Italy.

    Chanteloup-Les-Vignes: scenes of urban violence directed at France

    YvelinesAn immigrant justified the urban violence in Chanteloup-Les-Vignes, saying it was the right way to attack French authority.

    German migration researcher expects immigrant share of 40 percent

    According to the Berlin migration researcher Herbert Brücker, the proportion of citizens with foreign roots in Germany will rise to over 40 by the year 2040.

    Go to archive