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Great show of strength and unity by Parisians, but….

… the participation in it by some of the world leaders takes the shine a way somewhat. If indeed the march was also in defence of freedom of speech.

For example:

– Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who had several journalists jailed for insulting him in 2013.

– Saudi ambassador to France. The Saudis publicly flogged blogger @raif_badawi for “insulting Islam”. He’s due to receive 100 lashes.

– Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, whose forces killed 7 journalists in Gaza last year.

– The Foreign Minister of Bahrain, 2nd biggest jailer of journos in the world per capita (they torture them to!)

– The foreign Minister of Russia? Seriously? Russia? That bastion of freedom of the press and expression?

A nice summary of those countries who routinely jail – or do worse to – journalists can be found here.

All I’m saying is that Parisians and the French have shown the world that they will not be cowed.

However, some of the leaders that participated in the march should have stayed home until they clean up their own houses… else their hypocrisy taints a very honourable event.


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