Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson regarding the anti-islam film and the publication of caricatures in Charlie Hebdo

Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, September 19, 2012)

Security of French nationals abroad

Is France increasing security around its embassies following the publication of caricatures in Charlie Hebdo ?

The Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed this morning on France Info that he had issued “instructions that special safety precautions be taken in all countries where this could cause a problem.”

There are five measures that can be tailored to the local situation :

- firstly, a message urging French nationals living in these countries to exercise caution. We advise them not to take any risks and to avoid large gatherings ;

- secondly, a message urging our staff in our embassies and consulates to be vigilant ;

- we’ve also reaffirmed to the authorities of the countries concerned that they should ensure the security of all our missions. It’s their responsibility in accordance with the international conventions ;

- lastly, we’ve increased the security of our embassies and our consulates, for example with respect to the security procedures relating to the access to premises ;

- as a precaution, we’ve also decided to close our establishments on Friday in around 20 countries : embassies, consulates, cultural centers, and schools.

Reactions to the anti-Islam film

Might France consider blocking access to the “Innocence of Muslims” film on the Web or banning the public screening of the film, as envisaged by Germany ?

As Laurent Fabius reaffirmed this morning, the freedom of expression is a fundamental principle of our Republic. If this principle is violated, an association or an individual can seek redress before the courts and it’s up to the courts to rule on the case.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius :

"We saw what happened last week in Libya and in other countries such as Afghanistan ." "We have to call on all to behave responsibly."

France backs freedom of expression but warns against excesses

Freedom of expression – Communiqué issued by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Prime Minister

Paris, 18 September 2012

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault recalls that the freedom of expression is one of the fundamental principles of our Republic. This freedom is exercised within the framework of the law and under the supervision of the courts when a case is referred to them.

He also reaffirms the principle of laïcité [secularism] (1), which, along with the values of tolerance and respect for religious convictions, is at the heart of our Republican pact.

And this is why, in the current context, the Prime Minister is keen to express his disapproval of any excesses. He urges everyone to demonstrate a spirit of responsibility.


(1) laïcité goes beyond the concept of secularism, embracing the strict neutrality of the state.

Dernière modification : 17/05/2017

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