A French appeals court has convicted a woman and her brother of “justifying a crime” after her son, named Jihad, went to preschool in a t shirt with the words, “I am a bomb,” and “Jihad: Born on Sept. 11.”
Bouchra Bagour was given a $2,700 fine and a one-month suspended prison sentence while her brother, Zayed, received a $5,400 fine and two month suspended sentence in southeastern Nimes on Friday, according to the Associated Press.
Gaele Guenoun, the mother’s lawyer, said although she acknowledged letting the son wear the shirt to school was Bad taste,” the court decision was “severe.”
The case stems from a teacher’s complaint after the boy, whose birthday is on Sept. 11, wore the shirt to preschool last year. The uncle of the boy had the shirt made.
The mother quickly apologized and her son never wore the shirt to school, Guenoun said. But the mother was taken to court, where a lower court in nearby Avignon acquitted the defendants months ago.
Prosecutors appealed the original ruling in the case that blurs lines between free speech and France’s laws barring hate speech and denial of crimes like genocide. French law states that “justifying a crime” in public is punishable by up to five years in prison and a 45,000 euro fine.
Guenou said she was astonished the initial verdict was overruled.
Bagour who was not in court for Friday’s ruling, was not “a religious militant and “doesn’t have the profile at all of someone would do this as a provocation,” Guenoun said,
Source: Associated Press