FRANCE - UK

Banned from UK, Dieudonné gives Queen 'quenelle' salute

Photo: AFP
2 min

French comedian Dieudonné has been banned from entering Britain, the Home Office said on Monday. Dieudonné reportedly planned a trip to support footballer Nicolas Anelka, who is under fire for using the comic's trademark salute at a match.

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"We can confirm that Mr Dieudonné is subject to an exclusion order. The home secretary will seek to exclude an individual from the UK if she considers that there are public policy or public security reasons to do so," a Home Office spokeswoman said.

Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, whose trademarked "quenelle" gesture has been likened to a downward Nazi salute, has come under fire in France for anti-Semitic comments that he has used as part of his comedy act.

Hours after the ban was announced, Dieudonné performed the quenelle when referring to Queen Elizabeth II during a show in Switzerland.

The comedian has been banned from performing in several French cities on the grounds of maintaining public order as authorities probe whether he should face charges for breaking French laws against "inciting racial hatred".

French President François Hollande has publicly backed the ban on his performances.

Dieudonné made international headlines after footballer Nicolas Anelka performed his quenelle during an English Premier League match in December. Anelka faces a lengthy ban after being charged by the Football Association over the salute on grounds of racism.

Dieudonné, whose father is from Cameroon and whose mother is French Caucasian, says the quenelle gesture is merely an anti-establishment salute.

If found guilty, Anelka faces a minimum five-game suspension under new anti-discrimination measures introduced last year.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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