Court fines 7 for anti-Semitic abuse of Miss France runner-up

A French court fines seven people for a torrent of antisemitic abuse on social media aimed at the runner-up of the latest Miss France contest.

April Benayoum, who competed for the Miss France title in December, became the subject of hate messages after saying at the event that her father is of Israeli origin.

The insults — such as “Hitler forgot about this one” and “Don’t vote for a Jew” — were posted mainly on Twitter and drew condemnation from politicians and associations.

A Paris court orders seven defendants, four women and three men, to each pay fines ranging from 300 to 800 euros ($350-$930).

An eighth suspect is acquitted, with the court finding that his tweet did not target Benayoum directly.

During the trial, the suspects all admitted to publishing the messages, but denied they were antisemitic, with some arguing they were making a political statement defending the cause of the Palestinians.

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