Six young people, who were arrested following a graffiti campaign to highlight the continued disaffection among residents of Loire Atlantique about the territorial division of Briezh/Brittany, were sentenced to a two months suspended prison yesterday.
The sentence, which also included fines totalling over 30, 000 Euros and100 hours community service each, was immediately criticised by their supporters for being disproportionate and politically motivated. Supporters pointed out that in a recent similar court case, three graffiti artists were only fined 500 Euros for a comparable amount of damage caused. Their lawyer said that he would immediately appeal the verdict.
All six youths were sentenced in Naoned/Nantes, the main city of the Loire Atlantique department, which was annexed from Briezh/Brittany in 1941. Ironically, the youths were sentenced on the same day as the Balladur Committee was expected to give President Sarkozy its final report, which Breton nationalists were hoping would recommend the reunification of Loire Atlantique with the rest of Briezh/Brittany.
However, the Mayor of Naoned/Nantes, where the trial of the youths took place, has been campaigning himself among Balladur Committee members, for the reunification of Briezh/Brittany to be left out of the final report.
J B Moffatt
Director of Information