A 15-year-old black French schoolboy may face prison after pointing a gun at the head of his white teacher while shouting "put your head down" during a mock execution.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before a youth judge in France this weekend following the disturbing incident filmed and circulated on social media.
The mock execution happened at Branly High School in Creteil, a migrant-populated suburb south east of Paris.
He insisted that the pistol was a fake, and his mock execution of his teacher was a “joke”. But the teacher did not find his antics very funny. She said the intent was to harm her, and she has made a complaint of “violent threats with a weapon”, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Even if his weapon was a fake, a legal source close to the case explained, the teenager’s actions were unlawful.
After public outrage, President Emmanuel Macron urged taking “all measures to ensure that what happened is punished, and that this type of behaviour is permanently banned from schools,” the Daily Mail reported. Macron made sure not to mention “racism” in his remarks.
This week, the European Union Parliament passed a motion to demand member-states ban “neo-fascist” parties and called on intelligence agencies to fully co-operate with “anti-racism” NGOs.
The motion also calls for “the protection of community groups and civil society organisations that fight against fascism, racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance”.
The motion was passed by a vote of 355 MEPs, but many MEPs were not present in the 751-seat chamber for the vote. The resolution cited the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016, as well as the rampage of Norwegian extremist Anders Brevik as reasons for the ban.
The authors also included the French branch of the Identitarian movement Generation Identitaire, because some of its members had been taken to court and convicted of “hate speech”.
It also recommended that anti-hate crime units be set up in police forces across the EU, Breitbart reported.
British independent MEP Janice Atkinson, vice-president of the Europe for Nations and Freedom (ENF) parliamentary group, called it “a very disturbing example of the growing tendency of shutting down free speech under the guise of claiming that the European Parliament is concerned about the growing acceptance of fascism, racism, and xenophobia”.
Atkinson added: “In my understanding, formulating critical opinions is still part of free speech. We in the ENF group, however, condemn the rise of neo-Nazism and extremism, which is mainly coming from national socialism on the Left.
“The reality is that ‘shutting down’ can be arbitrary,” she said.
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