Europe 1 with AFP 16:39 p.m., November 07, 2023

An investigation has been opened after dozens of anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist leaflets were distributed last week in mailboxes in the Miotte district of Belfort, the prosecutor's office said Tuesday. "An investigation is underway," said Jessica Vonderscher, public prosecutor in Belfort, confirming a report by L'Est Républicain.

"I'm horrified," Belfort Mayor Damien Meslot (LR) told AFP. Last week, three residents brought him leaflets they had received in their mailboxes, which included swastikas and a stylized Nazi eagle, calling for the "restoration of white domination."

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"I feel like I'm going back 80 years"

According to the mayor, there were several dozen of these leaflets distributed. "I feel like I'm going back 80 years, it sends shivers down my spine. I hope that the author or authors will be judged harshly. I don't want such propaganda to circulate in Belfort," Meslot continued. On the leaflet, a link and a QR code refer to the social network Gab, a network similar to X (ex-Twitter) that is very popular with ultra-conservative fringes and supporters of Donald Trump in the United States.

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Detailed instructions explain how to distribute the leaflets: photocopy leaflets in office automation shops and pay in cash, do not leaflet in your municipality or in the city centre. Parking your car in an area without lighting, leaving your phone at home... A dozen instructions are listed. "Go and make disciples," says the leaflet published by the far-right group Participatory Democracy.

For the moment, it seems that the distribution has been "very localized", according to the public prosecutor. "The investigation is prioritized, but we're struggling to get fingerprints," she said. Vonderscher asks residents not to touch the leaflets if they still receive them and to call the police immediately to pick them up. Similar leaflet distributions have already taken place in the Jura and Côte-d'Or regions in June and July.