three questions on the police summons of LFI candidate Rima Hassan for “apology of terrorism”

The Franco-Palestinian activist is summoned at the end of the month “in order to be heard freely on facts of public apology for an act of terrorism, committed by means of an online public communication service”.


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Franco-Palestinian lawyer Rima Hassan speaks during the "People's Union Convention"in Villepinte (Seine-Saint-Denis), March 16, 2024. (BERTRAND GUAY / AFP)

Rima Hassan denounces “purely political maneuvers”. The day after the double cancellation of a conference by Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the Franco-Palestinian activist on the Middle East in Lille, the candidate for the European elections, present in seventh position on the list of La France insoumise (LFI) , was summoned on Friday April 19 by the police for “apology of terrorism”. For the person concerned, this measure aims to “discredit” and to hinder its “freedom of expression”. Franceinfo returns to this affair by answering three questions.

Who is Rima Hassan?

Rima Hassan is a specialist in the refugee issue, which she knows intimately since she was born in a camp in Syria in 1992, before coming to France at the age of 10. This lawyer in international law The 31-year-old was known in activist circles, but less so among the general public, until her designation in seventh place on the LFI list led by Manon Aubry, unveiled at the beginning of March. This place is a priori eligible, which has provoked strong reactions on the right, the far right, and within the majority.

In recent weeks, Rima Hassan has taken on a fairly unprecedented importance in the LFI campaign given her position on the list. She notably spoke last Sunday in Montpellier, during the second campaign meeting of the rebels, alongside Manon Aubry and the coordinator of the movement, Manuel Bompard, before participating in another meeting on Wednesday, with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, at Roubaix.

What are the charges against Rima Hassan?

According to the summons, revealed by the newspaper The world and consulted by AFP, the controversial activist is summoned at the end of the month “in order to be heard freely on facts of public apology for an act of terrorism, committed by means of an online public communication service”. The acts with which he is accused were allegedly committed between November 5 and December 1, according to the document, which does not provide further details.

The candidate has been singled out by several political camps since her presence on the LFI list was announced. She “is the representative of the ideas that Hamas conveys”notably denounced the president of the Renaissance group in the National Assembly, Sylvain Maillard. “She carries a project which does not (…) bring a political solution and peace”added on CNews-Europe 1 the communist Fabien Roussel. In particular, an interview with the media Le Crayon (since deleted, as analyzed by the site Arrêt sur images), given after the Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, where she responds “TRUE” to the affirmation “Hamas is taking legitimate action”.

Another controversial statement from Rima Hassan: her use of the slogan “from the river [Jourdain] at the sea [Méditerranée]“, “From the river to the sea” in English. A related expression by some to the demand for a state where Palestinians could live free and by others to the destruction of Israel, as developed Le Figaro Or Release. “From the river to the sea. We want to free all Palestinians, she wrote on November 5 on. Those in the camps, those in Gaza, those in Jerusalem, those in the West Bank, those in Israel and all those in the diaspora. It is only under this condition that we can speak of a Palestinian state, of a Palestinian people.”

What does the LFI candidate answer?

Concerning the interview with Le Crayon, Rima Hassan mentions a truncated extract, she replied on X, regretting “censorship” of its “developments and substantiated responses” and specifying that he had described Hamas as “terro group”. “We can say that Hamas has legitimacy in the context of the struggle for self-determination. It is a political party that was elected. But when they commit crimes, they are outside the framework provided by the United Nations”, she also explains to Arrêt sur images. Moreover, “the summons refers to publications from November. For those who think that it is a question of the interview given to Le Crayon, you are wrong, it was published in January”underlined Rima Hassan on X.

“I feel serene and combative”she added to AFP. “Serene, because I believe I have nothing to reproach myself for, having always expressed myself critically both towards Hamas and its terrorist mode of operation but also towards Israel. And I am very combative, because I believe that These are political maneuvers.”she added on the sidelines of a “citizen café” in Marseille, where she spoke in front of some 300 people who repeatedly chanted their support.

“We are six months later. A summons for advocating terrorism is still quite heavy, generally urgent, it does not take six months to summon someone”she supports. “Rima Hassan has always complied with the law, there is strictly no criminal offense that would be characterized in connection with her various publications on the question of Gaza”added Saturday on franceinfo his lawyer Vincent Brengarth.


VIDEO. The lawyer of LFI candidate Rima Hassan

In this summons, La France insoumise also sees “an attempt to intimidate and criminalize all voices speaking out against the ongoing massacres in Gaza.”. “Contrary to the comments attributed to her, Rima Hassan never said that the actions of October 7 were legitimate”, adds in its press release the radical left movement, which has made the denunciation of Israeli military operations in Gaza one of the main axes of its campaign for the European elections on June 9. From Marseille, the LFI coordinator asked that “this smear campaign must be immediately put an end to” towards Rima Hassan.

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