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Tuesday, 11 April, 2000, 23:34 GMT 00:34 UK
French anti-racists sue Yahoo

The sales are on Yahoo's US site, accessible worldwide
A Paris-based anti-racism group is taking the internet media giant, Yahoo, to court in France for hosting auctions of Nazi memorabilia.

The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra) said it was seeking an injunction to force the US-based company to make all such sales inaccessible to web surfers in France.

It also said it wanted Yahoo to be fined nearly $100,000 a day until it complies.



This sale of symbols of the greatest-ever crime against humanity trivialises Nazism in the extreme

Licra
France has strict laws against selling or displaying anything inciting racism, including Nazi-related items.

"Licra demands that Yahoo take the necessary measures to prevent the exhibition and sale on its sites of Nazi objects throughout the national territory," said a statement from the group, which called in February for a boycott of Yahoo sites for the same reason.

"This sale of symbols of the greatest-ever crime against humanity trivialises Nazism in the extreme."

Online services

But the group did not say how access to a worldwide website could be blocked in France alone.

A spokeswoman for Yahoo would not comment on the case.

Yahoo - one of the most popular sites on the internet - is much more than a search engine. As well as auctions, it offers a variety of online services like e-mail, online calendering and news.

A Yahoo.com auction site puts hundreds of Nazi or neo-Nazi objects such as swastikas, uniforms and medals up for auction each day.

On Yahoo's French website - www.yahoo.fr - no such Nazi items are for sale.

The lawsuit is due to be heard in Paris on 15 May.

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