Freedom of expression is non-negotiable

Index on Censorship condemns this appalling attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and any attempt to silence a free press.

07 Jan 2015


Index on Censorship condemns this appalling attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and any attempt to silence a free press. Nothing can justify such an attack.

Index CEO Jodie Ginsberg said: “The ability to express ourselves freely is fundamental to a free society. This includes the freedom to publish, to satirise, to joke, to criticise, even when that might cause offence to others. Those who wish to silence free speech must never be allowed to prevail.”

Our thoughts and solidarity are with the staff and families of Charlie Hebdo.

As James Kirchick wrote for Index after the magazine was firebombed in 2011: We are united in a fundamental belief: that freedom of expression is irrevocable and fundamental to a free society.

La liberté d’expression est non négociable

Index on Censorship condamne l’horrible attaque dans les locaux de l’hebdomadaire Charlie Hebdo et toute tentative de réduire au silence la presse libre. Rien ne peut justifier une telle attaque.

“La capacité à nous exprimer librement est fondamentale pour une société libre. Cela inclut la liberté à la satire, à la blague, à la critique, même si cela pourrait offenser d’autres personnes. Ceux qui veulent faire taire la liberté d’expression ne doivent jamais l’emporter,” Jodie Ginsberg, directrice générale de Index on Censorship.

Nous exprimons notre solidarité et toutes nos pensées sont avec le personnel de Charlie Hebdo et leurs proches.

Comme l’avait écrit James Kirchick lorsque que l’hebdomadaire fut incendié en 2011: Nous somme unis par une conviction fondamentale: la liberté d’expression est irrévocable et fondamentale pour toute société libre.

3 responses to “Freedom of expression is non-negotiable”

  1. Stellaris says:

    The only freedom of press that exists nowadays is the freedom to walk to the Newsagent and buy a newspaper. What you read is the expression of those who pay for the publication and who express their superiority over the “others” -namely the oppressed minorities.

  2. mondold says:

    Don’t get me wrong: I’m not defending Dieudonné or trying to find an excuse for Tuesday’s attacks or making a parallel at all between both events.
    My point was just that the Charlie Hebdo attack was not an attack against free speech but against innocent unarmed individuals. And the events over the week have proven my point: to viz, the murder of the police officer (not particularly the symbol of free speech),  the Montrouge murder of a police officer and now the hostage taking in a kosher supermarket in Vincennes.
    Talking about these events as if they were attacks against free speech is besides the point and prevents a debate about the real social issues that these events pose in France and maybe even elsewhere. My point about Dieudonné was just to illustrate the varying conception that the French have of freedom of expression. Whatever your political background, it’s undisputable that hate laws pose a real issue in terms of freedom of expression but that debate never took place in France.

  3. GRM65 says:

    Satire can be a clever tool for awakening
    thinking about issues in a different way.
    After viewing many Charlie Hebdo cartoons I
    wonder if it is time for some sound, respectful, responsible, insightful and
    accepting of differences thinking.
    Violence and murder in any form is never the
    answer. Think long and hard about the calls to uphold freedom of expression. Desperate
    people perform desperate acts, and they, also, are forms of freedom of
    expression. When we compartmentalise freedom of expression we close down
    It is
    understandable that grief follows tragic events. Now it is time to stop and ponder.