France
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Seven defendants were found guilty for posting anti-Semitic tweets against the runner-up of the Miss France 2021 competition and have been given fines.

April Benayoum, who was awarded second place in the pageant during a televised ceremony in December 2020, was subjected to a torrent of anti-Semitic abuse on Twitter after revealing her Israeli origins.

The tweets were widely condemned by French politicians and Jewish groups.

The guilty parties were gives fines on Wednesday of 300 to 800 euros for targeting Miss Provence winner Benayoum with the anti-Semitic tweets, the Caboodle news site reported.

An eighth defendant was found not guilty by the criminal court, after it ruled that his tweet was not aimed at Benayoum.

The prosecution had asked for a two-month suspended sentence for “public insults committed on the grounds of origin, ethnicity, race or religion” against the four men and four women who are between 17 and 58-years old.

The seven defendants were also ordered to pay 1 euro in damages to Benayoum, along with several Jewish and anti-racism groups that became civil parties to the charges, including the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism, the Union of Jewish Students from France and the Human Rights League.

Four of the defendants were ordered to take a two-day “citizenship course.”

At the trial, the defendants all admitted to having authored the tweets but claimed that they did not realize they were anti-Semitic.

The tweets contained anti-Jewish slurs, referring negatively to Benayoum’s Israeli background and calling her a “Jewess.”

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