France declares war on free speech
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France ordered prosecutors around the country Wednesday to crack down on hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism, announcing that 54 people had been arrested for those offenses since the Paris terror attacks.
The order came as Charlie Hebdo’s defiant new issue sold out before dawn around Paris, with scuffles at kiosks over dwindling copies of the satirical newspaper fronting the Prophet Muhammad.
Like many European countries, France has strong laws against hate speech and especially anti-Semitism in the wake of the Holocaust. In a message distributed to all French prosecutors and judges, the Justice Ministry laid out the legal basis for rounding up those who defend the Paris terror attacks as well as those responsible for racist or anti-Semitic words or acts.
By Associated Press
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