A probe has begun into a far-right magazine after it used its front cover to compare France’s black justice minister to a monkey.
Minute, a weekly satirical magazine, ran a picture of Christiane Taubira next to a caption that read: ‘Clever as a monkey, Taubira gets her banana back’.
The magazine, whose cover exploits the fact that “banana” means “smile” in French slang, will add to fears of a rise in racism in France, coming weeks after a far-right local election candidate compared Taubira to a monkey on national television.
“Racist attacks are unacceptable … I vehemently condemn them and I am more than ever at Christiane Taubira’s side,” Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said after urging an inquiry into whether the cover broke French laws against hate speech.
A spokesman for the Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed it would open a preliminary investigation on a possible charge of racist insult, a first step before a possible full inquiry.