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Freedom of the Press

At PEN gala, Charlie Hebdo editor calls for free expression and debate

At PEN gala, Charlie Hebdo editor calls for free expression and debate

If the PEN American Center’s mission is to promote free expression and lively discourse, the literary group accomplished that with its decision to honor the French magazine Charlie Hebdo at its annual Literary Gala on Tuesday night. Even before the attack on a Texas event lampooning the prophet Muhammad, PEN's decision to award Charlie Hebdo a freedom of expression citation had stirred controversy. As the publication’s editor, Gerard Biard, and its film critic, Jean-Baptiste Thoret, went to the stage to accept their award, though, there was no sign of the tensions preceding the event, which included a boycott by some PEN members. Biard and Thoret received a standing...

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