Freedom of expression has its limits, says Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended freedom of expression on Friday while believing that it was “not without limits” and should not “arbitrarily and needlessly hurt” certain communities.

• Read also: “We will not give up” on French values, assures Macron

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• Read also: “Charlie Hebdo” republishes Muhammad cartoons

“We will always defend freedom of expression,” Trudeau said, in response to a question about the right to caricature the Prophet Muhammad, as Charlie Hebdo magazine did.

“But freedom of expression is not without limits,” he said at a press conference. “We owe it to ourselves to act with respect for others and to seek not to arbitrarily or unnecessarily hurt those with whom we are sharing a society and a planet.”

“We do not have the right, for example, to cry fire in a cinema crowded with people, there are always limits”, argued the head of government.

Distancing himself from the position of French President Emmanuel Macron, Mr. Trudeau pleaded for a “prudent” use of freedom of expression.

“In a pluralist, diverse and respectful society like ours, we owe it to ourselves to be aware of the impact of our words, our actions on others, particularly these communities and populations who still experience a great deal of discrimination”, he pleaded.

As he had done the day before with the leaders of the European Union, Mr. Trudeau insisted on condemning the recent “appalling and appalling” terrorist attacks in France.

“It is unjustifiable and Canada wholeheartedly condemns these acts while still standing with our French friends who are going through extremely difficult times,” he insisted.

Three people were stabbed to death on Thursday in a church in Nice, southern France, by a man who was apprehended.

These attacks come amid anger in the Middle East against France and President Emmanuel Macron, vilified for having defended the right to publish cartoons in France.

Mr. Macron spoke in this direction during a tribute last week to Samuel Paty, a teacher beheaded in the middle of the street in an attack for showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class in a course on freedom of expression .

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