Tags: charlie hebdo | survivor | obama

Charlie Hebdo Survivor: Glad Obama Didn't Come to Paris

By    |   Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 10:56 PM

Laurent Leger, a Charlie Hebdo staff member who survived the attack that killed several of his co-workers earlier this month, says he is happy President Barack Obama didn’t attend the Paris unity rally that he was criticized for skipping, The Huffington Post reports.

Leger, the satire magazine's investigations editor, called the Obama administration's record on press freedom "an absolute scandal," adding, "It's very good he didn't come to the march that day."

Eight whistleblowers have been prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act during Obama's term in office – more than double the number of all previous presidents combined.

More than 40 heads of state marched in Paris alongside French President Francois Hollande days after the attack that killed 12 people. Leger said many of those who marched also should have stayed home, and that if the cartoonists who died had been alive they would have lampooned them.

Leger also criticized the British government and media for its stand on press freedom. Great Britain does not allow the press there to report on a secret meeting between former President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in which Bush allegedly advocated bombing the Al Jazeera news network's headquarters.

The killers at the Charlie Hebdo office were Muslim brothers who shouted "God is Great!" in Arabic, and claimed the killings were revenge for images of Islam's founder Muhammad printed in the magazine.

Leger did defend France's arrest of comedian and political activist Dieudonne for "incitement of terrorism" after he posted "Today I feel like Charlie Coulibaly" on his Facebook page. The message was a reference to Amedy Coulibaly, who killed four people as a kosher market after the Charlie Hebdo attack.

"Dieudonne knows the law perfectly well, and he's playing with it, because it serves him to appear as a victim," Leger said. "I don't at all find this shameful that we can sometimes limit the freedom of expression. We are all conscious of that at Charlie Hebdo, we defend freedom of expression but always within the framework of the law and the values of the republic."

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Laurent Leger, a Charlie Hebdo staff member who survived the attack that killed several of his co-workers earlier this month, says he is happy President Barack Obama didn't attend the Paris unity rally that he was criticized for skipping, The Huffington Post reports.
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Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 10:56 PM
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