Reporters Without Borders’ freedom of expression petition flops in France

In the wake of the deadly attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris on Jan. 7, Reporters Without Borders called on France’s religious leaders to sign a “Declaration on Freedom of Expression”. Three months later, it looks like the petition is a flop.

The campaign was first announced by Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) Secretary-General Christophe Deloire at a unity march held in Paris on January 11 in response to the massacre at the satirical weekly, as well as a deadly attack on a kosher grocery store in the east of the French capital.

The petition – which states that “everyone is free to express criticism, even irreverent criticism, of any system of political, philosophical or religious thought” – was officially launched in early February with the help of Jean-Louis Bianco, president of the Observatory of Secularism, a government organisation that focuses on protecting secularism in France.

  • Minicapt

    “a government organisation that focuses on protecting secularism”, interesting what is considered necessary.


  • G

    In my opinion, I suspect in the Charlie Hebdo incident you have two parties that nobody likes. Islamists and snotty, immature artists who like to smear people.

    It’s like watching the school bully beat up the class smart ass for teasing him.

    You definitely hate the bully and want to see him punished. You realize that the class smart ass is getting a retaliation all out of proportion for his crime.
    You also realize that the smart ass had the right to say what he did and his teasing remarks contained grains of truth.

    But, even with all those things as undeniable fact you still can’t help but secretly feeling a small amount of satisfaction that somebody (even a brutal ape like the school bully) is finally making the smart ass accountable for his words.

    Its watching a fight where you hope there are 2 losers.

    The Charlie Hebdo staff did not deserve to die. But when you are a smug, self important dick then sometimes you play a dangerous game.