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French police probe threats, hatred as LGBTQ icon forced to cancel show

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Bilal Hassani, who represented France at Eurovision in 2019, was due to perform in a former Roman basilica, now a concert venue in the northeastern city of Metz on 5 April.A week before the show, the conservative Catholic group Lorraine Catholique called for the show's cancellation, describing the singer's performances as "pornographic".In comments shared by far-right-linked outlets on social media, Lorraine Catholique urged believers to hold prayers outside the Saint-Pierre-Aux-Nonnains church against what it described as a "profanity" during the Holy Week leading up to Easter.Their appeal was relayed on social networks raising fears that protests against the concert could get out of hand.Hassani himself was threatened with an acid attack if he showed up, and has been the victim of a virulent hate campaign on internet.Producers said they decided to call off the show at the last minute because of security concerns."We cannot let an event that was supposed to be a moment of joy, sharing and celebration become a site of tension and malicious intent," international organiser Live Nation said."The audience's security is our priority," it added.The Metz prosecutor opened an investigation the day after the cancellation of the concert, to enquire into "incitement to hatred of a person because of their sexual orientation and public provocation", according to local media.Hassani, who is on a nationwide tour told the French television show Quotidien on Tuesday that the legal complaints specifically target the far-right movement Aurora Lorraine, traditionalist Catholic group Civitas and a group known as Discussion Nation Metz.full love !

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