Basically, in a democracy, a political leader has the same rights as an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh.
Under no circumstances are the lowly peasants allowed to mock a God-King like Macron.
A billboard owner in France has been fined 10,000 euros for “publicly insulting” President Emannuel Macron for depicting the French leader as Adolph Hitler in response to the imposition of vaccine passports.
A court in Toulon sided with French President Emmanuel Macron, who sued Michel-Ange Flori, 62, for two billboards caricaturing Macron as Nazi leader Adolph Hitler and former Marshal of France, Philippe Pétain, who was himself convicted of treason for working with the Nazi regime during the Second World War.
While President Macron has recently taken a firm stance in defending the right of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to caricature the Islamic prophet Muhammed, he decided to take the billboard owner to court for insulting him in a similar fashion.
The first billboard appeared on July 19th, just days after the introduction of the so-called pass sanitaire (health pass) in France, which requires citizens to present papers proving their vaccination or Covid status to enter into restaurants, pubs, cafes, and other public spaces.
The billboard showed Mr Macron with a Hitler moustache and dressed in a Nazi uniform, with the accompanying phrase: “Obey, get vaccinated”, La Voix Du Nord reported.
NEW 🚨 Macron sues a billboard operator for depicting him as Hitler in a banner. pic.twitter.com/FlqEpNXGOg
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) July 31, 2021
Pour avis : des miliciens macronistes portant des bonnets d’âne, soucieux de plaire à leur maître, patrouillent dans les faubourgs cherchant des humoristes non agréés pour les livrer à l’autorité judiciaire.
Le pas de trop! pic.twitter.com/H0M3B6CBua
— Flori Michel-Ange (@MichelFlori) August 12, 2021
The second poster showed Macron dressed as former Marshal of France Philippe Pétain against the backdrop of a QR code, with this message: “There is only one pass to go through,” intending to evoke the “papers please” regime enacted by Pétain’s government during the Nazi occupation of France.
Despite France removing the crime of “insulting the President of the Republic ” in 2013, the French president is still allowed to sue fellow citizens for public defamation or injury.
Though rarely enforced, a court in Toulon agreed with Mr Macron that the billboards represented “an obvious desire to harm” and therefore ordered Mr Flori to pay the French leader 10,000 euros (£8,500/$12,000).
Mr Flori has vowed to “immediately appeal” the ruling, arguing that the right to caricature has been enshrined in law.
Representing the billboard owner, Béranger Tourné said that his client “is perhaps irreverent, rude, and a demagogue but not at all guilty.”
“The president so quick to defend freedom of expression… but that it stops at his august person,” he added, noting that the posters were made “in reaction to a controversial and political debate.”
I think he’s only “quick to defend” freedom of expression when it’s some attack on Islam. I’m not defending Islam when I notice that – people make these really vulgar attacks on their religion, and then instead of just ignoring it, Macron comes out and supports it.
I mean, you can say “people can say whatever they want” without coming out and saying “I support that drawing of Muhammed doing gay sex, because that’s our freedoms.”
He only did that because either he hates Islam personally (which makes you wonder why he is so supportive of mass Islamic immigration), or because he wanted to do a big public thing about how he supports free speech (which would give him cover for cracking down on other forms of speech that are more meaningful than “gay Muhammed”).
In a civilized society, freedom of speech should be absolute. Lawsuits against making fun of people violate the concept of freedom.
Honestly, I think it’s kind of unfair to Hitler to compare Macron to him.
I mean, can you imagine Hitler posing for a photo like this?