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ANTI-SEMITISM

Norway ‘won’t arrest’ Paris bombing suspect

Norway is unlikely to extradite a citizen suspected of links to a 1982 attack on a Jewish restaurant in Paris after France issued an arrest warrant for him, an official said Thursday.

Norway 'won't arrest' Paris bombing suspect
The scene after the bombing at the Chez Jo Godenberg restaurant in 1982 that left six people dead. Photo: AFP
Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed, alias "Souhail Othman", who has lived Norway since 1991, was one of three suspects on a French international warrant issued two weeks ago.
 
But his wife angrily denied the charges against him, and an official with the Norwegian Prosecuting Authority said that as he was now a citizen, he could not be extradited.
 
(Walid Abdulrahman's identity was revealed by Paris Match earlier this month)
 
 
 
 
"There is no legal basis in Norway for expelling a Norwegian citizen to France or any other country," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
 
He also said Norway was unlikely to arrest the suspect because a 2013 law exempting "serious acts of terrorism" from a 25-year statute of limitations cannot be applied retroactively.
 
France on February 20 issued international arrest warrants for three men suspected of involvement in the grenade and shooting attack on a Jewish restaurant in Paris that killed six people.
 
The attack was blamed on the Abu Nidal Organisation, which was seen in the 1970s and 1980s as one of the most violent Palestinian militant groups.
 
Abu Zayed's wife told AFP the allegation against her husband, who lives in the small town of Skien south of Oslo, was a case of "mistaken identity".
 
"My husband has never killed anybody. He has never been to France," said the woman, who did not give her full name.
 
Paris remains on high alert after the jihadist attacks in January against a Jewish supermarket and the Charlie Hebdo magazine that left 17 people dead.

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COURT

French court orders Twitter to reveal anti-hate speech efforts

A French court has ordered Twitter to give activists full access to all its documents relating to efforts to combat racism, sexism and other forms of hate speech on the social network.

French court orders Twitter to reveal anti-hate speech efforts
Photo: Alastair Pike | AFP

Six anti-discrimination groups had taken Twitter to court in France last year, accusing the US social media giant of “long-term and persistent” failures in blocking hateful comments from the site.

The Paris court ordered Twitter to grant the campaign groups full access to all documents relating to the company’s efforts to combat hate speech since May 2020. The ruling applies to Twitter’s global operation, not just France.

Twitter must hand over “all administrative, contractual, technical or commercial documents” detailing the resources it has assigned to fighting homophobic, racist and sexist discourse on the site, as well as “condoning crimes against humanity”.

The San Francisco-based company was given two months to comply with the ruling, which also said it must reveal how many moderators it employs in France to examine posts flagged as hateful, and data on the posts they process.

The ruling was welcomed by the Union of French Jewish Students (UEJF), one of the groups that had taken the social media giant to court.

“Twitter will finally have to take responsibility, stop equivocating and put ethics before profit and international expansion,” the UEJF said in a statement on its website.

Twitter’s hateful conduct policy bans users from promoting violence, or threatening or attacking people based on their race, religion, gender identity or disability, among other forms of discrimination.

Like other social media businesses it allows users to report posts they believe are hateful, and employs moderators to vet the content.

But anti-discrimination groups have long complained that holes in the policy allow hateful comments to stay online in many cases.

French prosecutors on Tuesday said they have opened an investigation into a wave of racist comments posted on Twitter aimed at members of the country’s national football team.

The comments, notably targeting Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, were posted after France was eliminated from the Euro 2020 tournament last week.

France has also been having a wider public debate over how to balance the right to free speech with preventing hate speech, in the wake of the controversial case of a teenager known as Mila.

The 18-year-old sparked a furore last year when her videos, criticising Islam in vulgar terms, went viral on social media.

Thirteen people are on trial accused of subjecting her to such vicious harassment that she was forced to leave school and was placed under police protection.

While President Emmanuel Macron is among those who have defended her right to blaspheme, left-wing critics say her original remarks amounted to hate speech against Muslims.

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