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Eurovision singer sues over online gay hatred

France’s Eurovision contender has launched legal action after receiving more than a thousand hate messages over his sexuality and feminine appearance.

Bilal Hassani’s case is backed by the association Stop Homophobie, whose spokesperson Joël Berthout said: “The  bullies think they can say anything under freedom of speech.”

The 19-year-old singer’s lawyer said the social media messages,  which say they hope he will die and claim he is a disgrace to his country and his religion – although his beliefs are not known – were “unacceptable”.

Culprits risk six years in prison and a fine of €45,000.

Bilal, who is Parisian with French-Moroccan parents, has asked people to “let him live”.

He has apologised over an old tweet in which he accused Israel – host of the Eurovision contest on May 14 – of crimes against humanity, and after a video was published showing him joking about terrorism. He said he was young at the time.

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