Police across the Country Take a Keen Interest in Charlie Hebdo Readers.
Subversive: Needs ‘Community Reassurance’.
This story hasn’t stopped developing:
Officers in Wiltshire, Wales and Cheshire have approached retailers of the magazine, it has emerged, as concerns grew about why police were attempting to trace UK-based readers of the French satirical magazine.
In at least two cases – in Wiltshire and in Presteigne, Wales – officers have requested that newsagents hand over the names of customers who bought the magazine.
“This is so ridiculous as to be almost laughable. And it would be funny if it didn’t reflect a more general worrying increase in abuse of police powers in invading privacy and stifling free speech in Britain,” said Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive of free expression campaign group Index on Censorship.
“Does possessing a legally published satirical magazine make people criminal suspects now? If so, I better confess that I too have a copy of Charlie Hebdo.”
Five million copies of the magazine – which has a usual print run of around 60,000 – were published in a special edition, with about 2,000 of them reportedly distributed in the UK.
If you are a newsagent or reader who has experienced police contact related to Charlie Hebdo, please get in contact using the form below. Reading on mobile? Click here to complete the form.
Note: I too have a copy!
Cde Sarah AB asks,
These incidents have not escaped the eagle-eyes of French newshounds,
La police anglaise voulait ficher les lecteurs de «Charlie Hebdo»
Libération asks, “Acheter Charlie Hebdo est-il devenu si subversif que cela mérite d’être fiché ?”
Has buying Charlie Hebdo become so subversive that it means ending up on Police Files?
This is the rozzers’ explanation (Dyfed-Powys),
“Visits were made to newsagents who were maybe distributing the Charlie Hebdo magazine to encourage the newsagent owners to be vigilant. We can confirm the visits were only made to enhance public safety and to provide community reassurance.”
We can think of more than a few people on the oh-so-British left who’d probably agree with the Police.