The Paris administrative court authorized, on Friday June 24, the holding of two concerts by rapper Freeze Corleone scheduled for the same evening and Saturday at the Zénith de Paris, which had been banned by the police headquarters because of texts deemed anti-Semitic.

Seized in summary proceedings [emergency procedure] by the rapper, the court considered that this ban was “a serious and manifestly illegal attack on freedom of expression and assembly”. He therefore suspended the order taken on Tuesday by the prefect of police, Laurent Nuñez.

The police headquarters had forbidden Freeze Corleone from participating in the first concert, scheduled for Friday, given by the 667 collective of which he is the founder, and had banned the second, Saturday, scheduled in his own name.

“The risk of committing an offense likely to undermine respect for the dignity of the human person (…) and cause a disturbance to public order has not been demonstrated,” ruled the administrative court.

“Unacceptable racist remarks”

To justify the ban, the police headquarters argued that the rapper’s texts contained “numerous conspiratorial and anti-Semitic references”, and that his concerts had to take place “in a particularly tense geopolitical context” due to the war between Israel and Hamas.

The administrative court objected that “texts containing passages of an anti-Semitic nature do not appear on the concert program” for Friday and Saturday. “The investigation carried out on this subject following a report in 2020 was closed without further action,” he continues.

It also notes that “the concert, recently given by the artist in Foirac, which includes a program of songs identical to that planned for the concerts of November 24 and 25, 2023, did not give rise to any disturbance of public order , nor for that matter his previous concerts”.

In March, the Council of State had already rejected the appeal from the city of Rennes which wanted to ban the 31-year-old rapper from performing.

A prominent figure in French rap, Freeze Corleone – real name Issa Lorenzo Diakhaté – was dropped in September 2020 by his label Universal Music, which denounced “unacceptable racist comments”. On YouTube, his clips have several million views.