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The couple Robert Ménard and Emmanuelle Duverger-Ménard

FN member warns new French law is ‘assassination attempt’ on free speech

A member of the French anti-immigration Front National party, Emmanuelle Duverger-Ménard told the National Assembly on August 4, 2017 that a newly proposed bill would stifle freedom of speech.

Published: August 27, 2017, 11:05 am

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    “Several articles of this law deserve to be questioned on their relevance, even on their legitimacy,” Duverger-Ménard said. “This article is a veritable assassination attempt, a real crime, a true infringement of freedom of expression. It is tantamount to criminalising opinions that do not suit you.”

    “Anyone who is convicted of defamation, insult, discrimination under this law, is being punished for the right not to think like you,” she added. Duverger-Ménard said such “pseudo-associations of defense of the rights of man” only amount to arming the “thought police”.

    The law has nevertheless been voted.

    Duverger-Ménard teaches at the Institute of Higher Studies of Journalism in Montpellier, where she has organised lectures by author and anti-immigration activist Eric Zemmour and former communist Michel Cardoze, a close friend of hers.

    Emmanuelle Duverger-Ménard, who initially told French magazine l’Express some years ago, that she did not see herself fully involved in politics, nevertheless announced her candidacy for the Front National in the legislative elections in the 6th district of L’Hérault.

    “I have often been an observer, as a journalist, and I believe that there is a time when we must know how to take responsibility,” said Duverger-Ménard.

    Duverger-Ménard was at the centre of the decision to move Muslim schoolboys in Beziers to different establishments. “When they represent 88 percent of the pupils of a school, it is necessary to break this concentration and distribute them among several establishments for more social mix,” she justified her decision to l’Express in 2015.

    At the age of 47, this former lawyer turned to journalism, a professional activity from which she will withdraw “only at the end of the campaign” she said.

    In October 2012, she cofounded with her husband Robert Ménard and the journalist Dominique Jamet the site Boulevard Voltaire whose mantra reads: “Freedom guides our steps.” With the stated will to freedom of expression and debate, the articles published revolved around recurring themes such as security and immigration.

    Before that she also started Media with her husband, a magazine bought by the couple in 2004 and which, during its eight years of existence, revealed the underside of the media system.

    The magazine, which had been judged to be of high quality, quickly gained a sulphurous reputation after the publication of interviews with anti-Semitic polemicist Alain Soral, Pierre Cassen, founder of the “Islamophobic” association Riposte laïque, and speeches by novelist Renaud Camus.

    The publication was liquidated in June 2012.

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