Charlie Hebdo editor’s defiant message at ceremony for award that has divided literary greats


Gerard Biard accepting the PEN America award for courage of freedom of expression for Charlie Hebdo Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images
‘Being shocked is part of the democratic debate,’ says French satirical magazine’s editor as armed police guard New York gala


By Philip Sherwell|The Telegraph

The editor of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo delivered a defiant message about free speech and secularism as he accepted a controversial award that has split the literary world.

“Being shocked is part of the democratic debate,” said Gerard Biard after he was presented with the PEN America award for courage of freedom of expression for the magazine. “Being shot is not.”

Mr Biard received a standing ovation from some of the most famous names in literature at the black-tie New York reception but another 200 leading writers boycotted the event in protest at the magazine’s sometime offensive content.

read more