France: Former Action Directe militant Jean-Marc Rouillan sentenced on appeal to 18 months on ‘apology for terrorism’ charges


Last Tuesday, Jean-Marc Rouillan, sentenced to life imprisonment in 1989 and enjoying a semi-liberty regime since 2011, was convicted on appeal by the Paris Court of Appeal for apology for terrorism on the basis of a truncated quotation about the Paris bombings. A political judgement for the former militant of ‘Action Directe‘.

In an interview for Le Ravi on 23 February 2016, Jean-Marc Rouillan mentioned the courage of the terrorists who perpetrated the attacks in Paris against Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher while condemning their acts and their ideas as reactionary: “They fought courageously. They fought in the streets of Paris, they knew there were 2,000 or 3,000 cops. Often they do not even prepare their exits because they think they will be killed before they finish the operation. The Kouachi brothers, when they were in the printing press, fought to the last bullet. We can say that we are against their reactionary ideas, we can talk about a lot of things against them, saying that it was silly to do that but not to say that they are kids or cowards.”

Immediately, the authorities, starting with Cazeneuve, who were responsible for the death of Rémi Fraisse, rallied against the former member of ‘Action Directe’, responsible for the double murder of the engineer-general of the armament René Audran (1985) and the CEO of Renault Georges Besse (1986). His distorted remarks quickly served as a pretext for condemning an extreme left that did not accept the state of emergency imposed by the government, as the repression against the demonstration organized against COP 21 shows this perfectly. However, Rouillan’s remarks are unambiguous both on the condemnation of the barbarity of acts and on the identification of the imperialist causes that produced them: “The French airforce fighting in Iraq and Syria favour Daesh. When we bomb a school, we raise 2,000 fighters for Daesh.”

Rouillan was tried on June 24, 2016 and sentenced on September 7 to eight months in prison. He had benefited from a campaign of support for the abandonment of the prosecution of Jean-Marc Rouillan and a trial on appeal. Last Tuesday, the verdict of the class justice fell and it is even more severe than at the first instance: 18 months of prison including 10 months with a reprieve and 8 months of strict conditional release, all accompanied by a fine of 1,000 euros to be paid to the French Association of Victims of Terrorism (AFVT) and a ban on commenting on the case in public.

Christian Etelin, lawyer of Jean-Marc Rouillan, denounces a “legal aberration” and a political trial. Rightly, the lawyer who will accompany the former militant of Action Directe in the court of cassation (high court), emphasizes that “It is not the facts that were judged but the individual, Jean-Marc Rouillan”. He pinpoints in passing the double standards of which Rouillan is victim by asserting: “When Éric Zemmour says the same words on television, he is not condemned.” The trial of intention against Jean-Marc Rouillan is nothing but a will on the part of the state against the former member of ‘Action Directe’. It is also a way to silence all opponents of the permanent state of emergency and the French imperialism responsible for wars and terrorism.

(via Revolution Permanente, translated by -_-)

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