The investigation was launched following text messages from the Zemmour party to French Jews

JUSTICE – A preliminary inquiry was opened this Tuesday, April 12, in Paris after the party advertised Reconquete via text message! from Eric Zemmour, who is targeting French Jews, AFP learned on Tuesday April 12 from a source familiar with the matter.

At the request of AFP, the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the opening of these investigations into crimes related to personal data after two associations had lodged complaints.

“Following a complaint from the UEJF and the J’accuse AIJI association, an investigation was launched today into the leaders of the detention, storage, recording, transfer of personal data outside the cases provided for by law, disclosure to third parties without authorization and misuse of the purposes of a file containing personal data data,” the prosecutor specified.

The investigation was entrusted to the Brigade for Combating Personal Crime (BRDP), as also stated by this source. The Criminal Code provides for five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 euros if a file is opened without the consent of the person concerned that reveals their religious beliefs or their racial or ethnic origin.

A message signed in the name of the far-right candidate who was eliminated in the first round of the presidential election was sent to “thousands of mobile phones in France” on Friday April 8.

“Around ten thousand SMS” sent

The text message referred “to a page published by the Reconquest party that contained text expressly addressed to French Jews,” revealed BFMTV. On Monday, the National Commission for Computing and Liberties (CNIL) announced the opening of an investigation. The candidate’s message, now offline, was titled: “Message from Éric Zemmour to the French of Jewish faith.”

The Cnil specifies that “the processing of personal data that is disclosed […] religious beliefs” is “prohibited” unless “the data subject has given his or her express consent to the processing of such personal data for one or more specific purposes”.

When asked by BFMTV, Eric Zemmour’s team had confirmed that the campaign was behind sending “tens of thousands of text messages” linking to the candidate’s website.

One of the leaders of the retake campaign had assured the news channel that this political election campaign was conducted with the help of a personal data broker who buys databases to trade.

Back on April 5, netizens on social media were surprised when they received a voice message on their personal phones asking them to vote for Eric Zemmour on April 10th.

“We are impatiently waiting for the police to do their job,” Stéphane Lilti, who filed a complaint for the Union of Jewish Students in France (UEJF), told AFP. His colleague Me Sacha Ghozlan, who filed a complaint for the association “J’accuse”, denounced on Twitter “the most massive exploitation of lists of names of Jews since the Vel’d’hiv raid”.

Three other associations, the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra), SOS Racisme and Mrap (Movement Against Racism and for Friendship of Peoples), also told AFP that they had filed complaints with the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday.

See also on The HuffPost: Findings from Éric Zemmour: The polemicist ranks fourth with less than 10%

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