The verified Twitter account for WikiLeaks, the organization founded by Julian Assange that publishes state secrets, lashed out Thursday at something called the “Jewish pro-censorship lobby” for “legitimiz[ing] attacks on “Charlie Hebdo for ‘offensive’ speech.”:
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 8, 2015
While Google is unable to find anything resembling an official or organized “Jewish pro-censorship lobby,” to back its defamation, WikiLeaks links to a 5 year-old Daily Telegraph report about a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist facing charges of anti-Semitism in a French court. Mauraice Sinet, who was 80 at the time, faced these charges (and was fired by Charlie Hebdo) over a column some interpreted as “linking prejudice about Jews and social success.”
France’s notorious Hate Speech Laws, however, are not designed to just protect Jews.
France’s principal piece of hate speech legislation is the Press Law of 1881, in which Section 24 criminalizes incitement to racial discrimination, hatred, or violence on the basis of one’s origin or membership (or non-membership) in an ethic, national, racial, or religious group. A criminal code provision likewise makes it an offense to engage in similar conduct via private communication.
There are numerous instances of French citizens, including actress Brigitte Bardot and even legitimate presidential contenders, finding themselves hauled before French courts and convicted of speech crimes against Muslims.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC