The shootings at the head quarters of the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris took the world by surprise. Freedom of speech was the phrase on everyone’s lips, then it was ‘Je suis Charlie’, and then it was ‘Je suis Ahmed’.
It was touching to see so many vigils across the world for Charlie Hebdo, including Uruguay, Brazil, Hungary, Chile, UK, Romania, Amsterdam, Portugal, Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Denmark, Czech Republic, USA, Thailand, Georgia, Italy, Germany, Russia, Monaco.
Considering the track record for freedom of speech in countries like Thailand, Russia and Turkey, it sort of feels like more of a triumph to see people banding together with slogans like “Would rather die standing than live on my knees.”
So what about the other side to the masses – the world leaders? Nearly every daily newspaper had the image below on their front pages. Such a moving photo. World leaders arm in arm together, against the terrorists who tried to take our precious right to free speech, specified in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
But if anyone was watching ‘The Last Leg’ on 16th January,you would have seen that the aerial photos of said vigil which shows the world leaders at the front of what appears like a large mass of mourners, is in fact only a small gathering on a closed street. Adam Hill even points out that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyah, is waving to an empty pavement!
This is only the beginning of some of the stories that have been printed in the wake of Hebdo, regarding the hypocrisy of certain leaders that attended. With freedom of speech trending in the minds of the west, this series of articles is here to shine some light on the hypocrisy after Hebdo, taking a look at some of the cases these countries don’t want people to know about.