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French president backs ban on controversial comic

Published on Jan 7, 2014 7:54 PM

PARIS (AFP) - French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday backed attempts to ban controversial comic Dieudonne from performing a one-man show that has been widely condemned as anti-Semitic.

Hollande urged local officials to take a hard line in applying an interior ministry circular which authorises city mayors or police prefects to cancel Dieudonne performances on public order grounds.

"The government ... has issued instructions to ensure that no one can use a performance for the goals of provocation and the promotion of overtly anti-Semitic theories," Hollande said in a New Year address to civil servants.

The Socialist leader said local officials had to be "vigilant and inflexible" in their response to what he described as "shameful provocation" without specifically mentioning Dieudonne.

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