Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit has exposed links between senior figures in one of France’s main political parties and a far-right movement that calls for the expulsion of Muslims from Europe.
An undercover investigation found that high-ranking figures in Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party privately supported extremist policies, including “remigration” – sending immigrants back to their countries of origin.
The results of the investigation are shown in the second Generation Hate documentary to be broadcast on Al Jazeera English.
An undercover reporter secretly filmed party members at The Citadelle, a private bar in Lille that is the headquarters of the Flanders branch of a far right group called Generation Identity.
Generation Identity is Europe’s fastest-growing far right movement. It calls for immigrants to be returned to their supposed countries of origin to prevent white Europeans being replaced by outsiders
The investigation reveals how:
· Senior National Rally figures visit the Generation Identity bar and mingle openly with extremists.
· A close ally of Le Pen saying how the party, previously called the National Front, would introduce “remigration” if it came to power.
· A National Rally MEP saying most National Rally politicians, including the leaders, hold identitarian views.
· The MEP saying the party has to hide its hardline views to win power – “then we can do what we want”.
· Another National Rally MEP saying prominent party figures are at the Generation Identity bar because “we have the same objectives”.
· Aurelien Verhassel, Generation Identity’s leader in Lille, telling activists at The Citadelle: “The advantage is that we’re in a violent scene. Everyone accepts that. That’s good. That’s what I really like.”
In the first Generation Hate documentary, Al Jazeera revealed activists from The Citadelle carrying out a race attack, giving Nazi salutes and one expressing a wish to kill Muslims at a market.
Al Jazeera also revealed how GI activists were recruited to work for the National Front at the Hauts de France regional council in Lille.
After the documentary was broadcast, the mayor of Lille called for The Citadelle to be closed down and the public prosecutor launched an inquiry.
The second episode of Generation Hate will be broadcast from Sunday 16th December.
It will also be available on YouTube and at Aljazeera.com/ investigations.
David Harrison, Investigative Reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: +44 7786392057
Lee Sorrell, producer/ director: email@example.com
Phil Rees, Executive Producer: firstname.lastname@example.org