Anti-Free Speech Laws Force Right-wing Activists Into Hiding Abroad

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Right wing activists are being forced into hiding abroad as a result of France’s oppressive laws against free speech. Le Monde reports that a number of right wingers have been pressured to flee France to avoid arrest for “hate” speech. The newspaper notes that many of these are administrators of websites in the “fachosphere”. ‘Facho’ is slang, in France, for ‘fascist’. It describes the “fachosphere” as a “cloud of very active websites, blogs and forums which do their best to preach the ‘patriotic’ word on the web”. Le Monde says such websites “are hosted abroad, with the scarcely concealed objective of escaping French justice.” France aggressively pursues cases of alleged “hate” speech. French icon Brigitte Bardot has been on trial five times for insulting Muslims and “inciting hatred”. On one of these occasions she was convicted just for “decrying the loss of French identity and tradition due to the ‘multiplication of mosques while our church bells fall silent for want of priests”. Journalist Nicolas Henin, who was held hostage by ISIS in Syria from 2013 to 2014 “discovered this to his cost” according to Le Monde. In February Henin filed a complaint against a “foul article” about him on the