Frankfurt Book Fair: Free speech must apply to all
17 Oct 2017

Responding to reports of violence at the 2017 Frankfurt Book Fair, Index on Censorship magazine editor Rachael Jolley said:

“Free speech must apply to all — even people whose ideas we may find offensive. Physical violence is never acceptable, and at a book fair like anywhere else, if people resort to assaulting each other they are likely to be arrested.

“It feels particularly shocking that attendees at Frankfurt Book Fair, which is all about the global exchange of ideas, are not able to consider other people’s ideas without resorting to violence. Free expression is not just about speaking, it is also about listening. There seems to be a growing section of society that is not willing to allow people to speak who they disagree with. “

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Index on Censorship is a nonprofit that campaigns for and defends free expression worldwide. We publish work by censored writers and artists, promote debate, and monitor threats to free speech. We believe that everyone should be free to express themselves without fear of harm or persecution – no matter what their views.

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