January 14, 2015 3:00 pm -

[su_right_ad]You would hope the Paris attack on Charlie Hebdo would inspire a stronger free speech movement in France, but they are, in fact, arresting more people for speaking out.

Authorities said 54 people had been arrested for hate speech and defending terrorism in the last week. The crackdown came as Charlie Hebdo’s defiant new issue sold out before dawn around Paris, with scuffles at kiosks over dwindling copies of the satirical weekly that fronted the Prophet Muhammad anew on its cover…

[su_thin_right_skyscraper_ad]Among those detained was Dieudonne, a popular and controversial comic who has repeated convictions for racism and anti-Semitism.

Like many European countries, France has strong laws against hate speech, especially anti-Semitism in the wake of the Holocaust.

In a message distributed to all French prosecutors and judges, the Justice Ministry laid out the legal basis for rounding up those who defend the Paris terror attacks as well as those responsible for racist or anti-Semitic words or acts. The order did not mention Islam…

Dieudonne, a comic who popularized an arm gesture that resembles a Nazi salute and who has been convicted repeatedly of racism and anti-Semitism, is no stranger to controversy. His provocative performances were banned last year but he has a core following among France’s disaffected youth.

In a Facebook post that was swiftly deleted, the comic said he felt like “Charlie Coulibaly” – merging the names of Charlie Hebdo and Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who killed four hostages at a kosher market Friday, a day after he killed a Paris policewoman.

In a separate post, the comic wrote an open letter to France’s interior minister.

“Whenever I speak, you do not try to understand what I’m trying to say, you do not want to listen to me. You are looking for a pretext to forbid me. You consider me like Amedy Coulibaly when I am not any different from Charlie,” he wrote.

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D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

6 responses to French Comedian, 53 Others, Arrested For Free Speech

  1. AmusedAmused January 14th, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Let him speak. I like to know if someone is celebrating the murder of Jews. I like to know who wants to kill me.

  2. StoneyCurtisll January 14th, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Vichy France was responsible for the murder of 100’s of thousands of French Jews..

    France is also notorious for the suppression and murder of thousands of Algerians in the 1960’s during their colonial days during the uprising.

    I have no doubt that the French authorities know how to brutally suppress any new activity that might come about…(what ever religious persuasion they might be)

    • fahvel January 15th, 2015 at 11:25 pm

      doesn’t come close to the tragedy of the american slave states or the nearly total eradication of the native population. all the hot sshot western powers achieved their elite positions on the backs of millions of dead “others”.

  3. Apocalypse January 14th, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Free speech is for cartoonist…not comedians./s

  4. edmeyer_able January 14th, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Why did Obama go to Paris and march in that rally when the French are arresting……….oh wait a minute.

  5. burqa January 15th, 2015 at 1:02 am

    He wasn’t arrested for free speech. He was arrested and charged with breaking their hate speech law.