Justice orders the removal of the nativity scene from the Hôtel de Ville in Béziers


Justice ordered Wednesday the town hall of Béziers to remove the Christmas crib located in the main courtyard of the Town Hall within 24 hours under penalty of a penalty of 100 euros per day.

Seized by the Human Rights League (LDH) in summary proceedings - an emergency procedure - the Montpellier administrative court considered that the crèche "highlighted the nativity scene" and therefore that "this installation in the enclosure of a public building disregards the provisions of article 28 of the law of December 9, 1905 and the requirements attached to the principle of neutrality of public persons", he explains in his decision that the AFP consulted.

“We obey, but I regret this measure which is very brutal in the face of something which, however, unites”, reacted the mayor of Béziers Robert Ménard, close to the National Rally (RN), questioned by AFP. He now intends to move the crib to the forecourt of the Town Hall.

The LDH had unsuccessfully requested the prefect of Hérault "to enforce the law". In a letter dated December 5 that AFP obtained, the prefect had warned that "the State will not ask the mayor of Béziers to give up this installation", considering that this crèche was “one animation among others”.

“The prefect no longer uses his power and does not enforce the law. That's why we went to court. The systematic violation of the law must be sanctioned, ”explained at the hearing on Tuesday Me Sophie Mazas, president of the LDH of Hérault.

“We are delighted to see that the judge enforces the law and the decision of the Council of State, but we are very questioning about the decision of the prefect of Hérault not to enforce the law. We are going to ask for an appointment in the prefecture but also to his hierarchy, ”she reacted on Wednesday.

The nurseries of Beaucaire (Gard) and Béziers are regularly prosecuted but continue to be installed each year by the mayors concerned. That of Perpignan is also the subject of a seizure with the administrative court of Montpellier by the LDH, whose hearing is scheduled for December 20.

On November 16, the Council of State had confirmed the ban on the Christmas crib of the town hall of Beaucaire, directed by the mayor RN Julien Sanchez.

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

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