As millions gather to support those who lost their lives in the brutal assault on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hedbo, quietly France has been silencing people who speak anything that’s not deemed acceptable on social media.
The best example would be the reported arrest of French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala.
M’bala who wrote on Facebook: “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly,” which combines the popular Je suis Charlie slogan with the name of Amédy Coulibaly, the gunman behind last week’s deadly attack at a kosher supermarket.
According to the Guardian, Dieudonné posted the comment after attending Sunday’s huge march in support of Charlie Hebdo, an event the comic described as “a magical moment comparable to the big bang.”
“I’m finally going home,” he typed. “Know that this evening, as far as I’m concerned, I’m feeling like Charlie Coulibaly [French: je me sens Charlie Coulibaly].”
French police didn’t think his joke was that funny. He was arrested Monday and charged with condoning terrorism.
After his arrest, Dieudonné deleted the offending post, and took to Facebook to defend himself. “I’m being seen as an Amedy Coulibaly when I’m no different from Charlie,” he said, a point several prominent journalists have echoed on Twitter.
He would go on to elaborate:
‘ i feel charlie coulibaly
‘ for a year, i am treated like the public enemy number 1, while I sought only to make laugh. […] It myself as a amedy coulibaly, while i am not different from charlie ‘
The comedian was not the only one arrested in the wake of the Charlie Hedbo massacre for making light of the situation.
Per the BBC:
The justice ministry said on Wednesday that 54 cases had been opened since the murders of 17 people in Paris last week. Of those, 37 cases involved condoning terrorism and 12 were for threatening to carry out terrorist acts.
Some fast-track custodial sentences have already been handed down under anti-terror legislation passed last November
A man of 22 was jailed on Tuesday for a year for posting a video mocking one of the three murdered policemen
A drunk driver was given four years in prison after making threats against the police who arrested him
Three men in their twenties were jailed in Toulouse for condoning terrorism
A man of 20 was jailed in Orleans for shouting “long live the Kalash[(nikov]” at police in a shopping centre
Sidenote: This is what I’ve been feeling since this massacre happened. Mourn, call the attackers criminals, but don’t act like freedom of speech should be altered in anyway. If we can’t disagree or have opposite opinions on things, then were basically robots. Unless we already got there and I’m the last to know.