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France charges two over Nazi swastikas in Paris

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
France charges two over Nazi swastikas in Paris
Photo by BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

France charged two people with justifying a crime against humanity over Nazi swastikas that were spray-painted in northwestern Paris, a judicial source said on Wednesday.

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The two were part of a group of 13 people who were detained on Saturday.

The suspects, who are in their 20s and early 30s, have been described as a mixture of ultra-right activists and hooligans.

France is on alert after the killing of a teenager this month inflamed political tensions in the country, with the hard-right describing the assault as "anti-white racism."

'The threat is real' - The worrying growth of the violent far-right in France

Seven of the suspects have been known to the authorities as ultra-right activists, and another three have already been involved in "similar acts" in the past, the public prosecutor's office said.

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They are suspected of having spray-painted Nazi swastikas on the ground in the French capital's 17th district.

Apart from the swastikas, the group is suspected of spray-painting the inscription "KOB", a reference to the notorious Kop of Boulogne, Paris Saint-Germain's football ultras.

On Tuesday, the public prosecutor's office said nine of the 13 people had been brought before an investigating judge.

A judicial source said authorities had filed charges against two people including public justification of a crime or misdemeanour.

The source did not provide further details but authorities earlier launched an investigation into various offences, including justification of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

According to the judicial source, six other people were indicted on charges that they refused to hand over pass codes to their phones.

The source said the eight people were placed under judicial supervision and banned from contacting each other and carrying weapons.

Last month, French prosecutors opened an investigation into dozens of Stars of David daubed on buildings around the city and its suburbs.

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Prosectors in that case said that two Moldovans had been arrested and that the action may have been carried out at the "express demand" of an individual residing abroad.

Tensions had been rising in Paris, home to large Jewish and Muslim communities, amid the war between Israel and Hamas in the wake of the attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on October 7th, which has been followed by Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

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