Man Who Destroyed Portrait of President Macron During Anti-Mandatory Vaccine Protest Sentenced

TOPSHOT - French President Emmanuel Macron removes his facemask before addressing the press in the courtyard of the Elysee presidential palace before a working lunch with Slovenia's Prime Minister in Paris on April 29, 2021. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)
LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

A court has sentenced a 52-year-old man to a suspended jail term after he destroyed a portrait of French President Emmanuel Macron in the city hall during a protest.

The 52-year-old was involved in a protest on Saturday against the functionally mandatory vaccination system being ushered in through the coronavirus vaccine passport, known in France as the Health Pass, and was one of a group of people who stormed Poitiers city hall, removing the official portrait of the French president, ripping it up, and throwing it off a balcony.

Video of the incident was later spread on social media. When confronted with the footage, the man admitted he had been the one who had ripped up the portrait and threw it off the balcony, saying he regretted the move, Francebleu reports.

The 52-year-old, who has no prior criminal record, told the court that he had been caught up by the crowd’s mood and said he had been frustrated by the last year and the idea of not being able to visit a restaurant without a Health Pass.

After finding the man guilty of aggravated theft, the court sentenced him to 15 days in prison, suspended for five years — a sentence that will result in a criminal record.

A similar incident also took place last Wednesday in the town of Chambéry and saw 300 anti-vaccine passport protesters storm the town hall and remove a portrait of President Macron.

“The city of Chambéry condemns with the utmost firmness this intrusion,” the local mayor’s office said, adding it was not “tolerable to attack republican symbols and the symbolic place that is a city hall”.

On Monday morning, the French parliament passed a law requiring the Health Pass for various basic activities, including dining at restaurants, and train and aeroplane travel.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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