Far-Right Boss to Help Immigrants

BBC News, April 18, 2006

A Belgian court has sentenced the far-right National Front leader, Daniel Feret, to 250 hours of public service helping immigrants to integrate.

Mr Feret, 61, was found guilty of publishing racist pamphlets.

He will face 10 months jail if he does not accept the ruling. The Brussels Appeals Court also barred him from standing in elections for 10 years.

The party’s webmaster, Georges-Pierre Tonnelier, was fined and also barred from standing for public office.

One pamphlet caricatured Africans as savages and another, published after the 11 September 2001 terror attacks in the US, equated Muslims to terrorists, the French news agency AFP reported.

The court ruled that the pamphlets “encouraged hate against foreigners” and were “grave attacks against democratic values”.

Mr Feret is the founder of the French-speaking National Front, which saw its best results so far in the 2004 regional elections, when it won 5.6% of the vote.

In a recent poll, 9.4% of potential voters in Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia province backed the party.

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