French comedian Dieudonné 'barred' from Hong Kong


Comic whose anti-Semitic comments have stirred up controversy says he and two sons were detained by Hong Kong police for 14 hours.

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The comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, whose anti-Semitic comments have put him at the center of a free-speech debate in France, said on Thursday that he had been detained at the Hong Kong Airport and barred from entering the territory, reports The New York Times.

Mr. M’bala M’bala, who was scheduled to perform two shows in the city, posted on Facebook a photograph of the notice denying him entry, writing that he and his two eldest sons had “been detained by the Hong Kong police for over 14 hours.”

The Hong Kong Immigration Department declined to specifically address Mr. M’bala M’bala’s case, but it said in an email that it was “committed to upholding effective immigration control by denying the entry of undesirables.”

The comedian was convicted in March of condoning terrorism in France after he posted a Facebook message suggesting sympathy with one of the gunmen involved in the January 2015 attacks in Paris that left over a dozen people dead.

A separate free-speech ruling was upheld in November by the European Court of Human Rights, which said that Mr. M’bala M’bala’s right to expression did not permit him to make anti-Semitic jokes or statements denying the Holocaust.

Attempts at silencing Mr. M’bala M’bala have created tensions over free speech and gained him support among some French Muslims, as well as far-right sympathizers.

Readv more of this report from The New York Times.

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