Houria Bouteldja, spokesperson for anti-racism movement Parti des Indigènes de la République (The Indigenous People of the Republic Party – PIR), was taken to court for “racial insults towards the French” by Agrif, the General Alliance against racism and respect for the French and Christian identity.
Appearing on debate show Ce soir ou jamais (Tonight or never) on France 3 in June 2007, Bouteldja caused offense using the new word ‘souchiens’, a term deriding those who emphasise they are 'ethnic French', as opposed to being of immigrant stock.
Some viewers interpreted the phrase as ‘sous-chiens’, meaning of less value than dogs.
“I didn’t recognise the word play ‘sous-chiens’ that some heard. The do sound the same, but I can’t do anything about that,” said Bouteldja.
“Really there should be trial on the French language.
“During the trial the prosecution were really siding with the Agrif’s complaint. To be honest, I really thought I was going to be sent down.”
The Toulouse court made their decision from a hearing on October 15 public yesterday – the hearing itself being an appeal on the original court case which took place in January this year, which also found Bouteldja innocent.