Despotic French Government Criminalizes Speech
We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France:https://jonathanturley.org/2012/10/14/the-death-of-free-speech/https://jonathanturley.org/2008/06/04/brigitte-bardot-convicted-of-hate-speech-and-discrimination/https://jonathanturley.org/2013/09/23/je-suis-une-bombe-family-criminally-convicted-for-sending-3-year-old-son-jihad-to-school-with-t-shirt-reading-i-am-a-bomb/https://jonathanturley.org/2013/07/16/twitter-caves-to-demand-of-french-jewish-students-to-reveal-identifies-of-posters/https://jonathanturley.org/2012/09/19/french-magazine-runs-cartoon-of-mohammad-in-the-face-of-governments-warning-about-provocation/https://jonathanturley.org/2012/01/24/french-senate-makes-denying-armenian-genocide-a-crime/https://jonathanturley.org/2018/09/20/le-pen-ordered-into-psychiatric-evaluation-for-tweets-in-france/https://jonathanturley.org/2011/09/08/galliano-found-guilty-of-anti-semitic-comments/
The latest such case is a criminal trial of French Senator Stéphane Ravier for stating that “immigration kills the youth of France.”
It is another example of why free speech is in a virtual free fall in Europe.
Ravier faces trial tomorrow in the criminal court of Marseilles on charges of incitement to discrimination, hatred, or violence. The case is based on a tweet, on January 11, 2022, in which Ravier reacted to the murder of a teen in Paris by a 62-year-old man from Senegal.
He tweeted “Theo, 18 years old, murdered yesterday by a Senegalese [migrant]… Immigration kills the youth of France.”
A complaint was filed by the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra) and the League for Human Rights (LDH) against Ravier over allegations of spreading hatred toward migrants.
Alain Lothe also alleged that by publishing his tweet “the elected official is not content to react to a news event but wants to highlight the nationality of its author and to involve all people from immigrant backgrounds.”It is another example of criminalizing political speech.
Just last year, Ravier was convicted for another comment made against a female socialist senator that was deemed to be sexist and given a fine of 1,500 euros.
France has been a leader in the rollback on free speech in the West with ever widening laws curtailing free speech. These laws criminalize speech under vague standards referring to “inciting” or “intimidating” others based on race or religion. For example, fashion designer John Galliano has been found guilty in a French court on charges of making anti-Semitic comments against at least three people in a Paris bar: https://jonathanturley.org/2019/07/08/france-emerges-as-one-of-the-worlds-greatest-threats-to-free-speech/
A French teenager was charged for criticizing Islam as a religion of hate: https://jonathanturley.org/2020/02/05/french-teenager-forces-free-speech-debate-over-her-calling-islam-a-religion-of-hate/
Brigitte Bardot, an animal rights activist, has been repeatedly hit with such criminal complaints for criticizing different groups. She was later fined for calling the the inhabitants of La Reunion “savages” for their continued sacrificing of animals in religious rituals: https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20211104-bardot-fined-for-savages-jibe-against-french-indian-ocean-islandhttps://www.zerohedge.com/political/french-politician-faces-criminal-trial-immigration-criticism