Russian president Vladimir Putin lashing out against free speech is no news. But this time, he attacks freedom of the press in another country — France.
The background is that the French magazine Charlie Hebdo has published two cartoons relating to the Russian air disaster in the Sinai. One of the two cartoons is focusing on the quality of Russian low fair airlines – and the other making a connection between the disaster and the fact that Russia has now become involved in fighting ISIS, in Syria.
Especially the last one touches on a highly sensitive issue in Russia: The connection between “Putin’s war” in Syria and terrorist attacks against Russian civilians.
Every suggestion of such a connection is seen as undermining Vladimir Putin.
At Chalie Hebdo, they choose not to give in but to speak back. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Biard:
“Their argument about sacrilege is absurd. Are we supposed to no longer comment on the news in a different way, or to say nothing more than it’s sad? If so that becomes a problem for freedom of expression.”