Jean-François Julliard, Secretary General
R e p o r t e r s W i t h o u t B o r d e r s
5, rue Geoffroy-Marie
75009 Paris - France
Tél. (33) 1 44 83 84 84
Fax (33) 1 45 23 11 51
28 January 2011
Dear Secretary General Julliard:
It is good to know that you will have participated in the UNESCO International Symposium in the panel addressing the state of press freedom worldwide. There may be no more important matter facing human culture today than what Reporters sans frontières stands for, "the freedom to inform and to be informed."
RSF states: "The right of all to freely inform the public and to be informed is absolute." RSF quotes Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: " ,,, everyone has a right to freedom of opinion and expression, which includes the right not to be penalized for those opinions and to 'seek, receive and impart' information and ideas by whatever means, regardless of national borders."
This represents an ugly irony that is difficult for me to understand. All over Europe, but especially in nations such as France, Austria and Germany, writers and publishers are being "penalized" with imprisonment for addressing publicly specific fragments of WWII history, including but not limited to, the German WMD (gas-chamber) question. Has RSF come to the aid of such men and women as Vincent Reynouard, Wolfgang Froelich, Gerd Honsik, Sylvia Stolz or Horst Mahler? Not that I am aware of. Why not?
These writers are in prison today for having believed in the "absolute right of all to freely inform the public and to be informed." Am I to take it that RSF only "half-believes" what these men and women truly believe – that "The right of all to freely inform the public and to be informed is absolute?" RSF says nothing. RSF does nothing. RSF will go to the ends of the earth in Asia, Africa, South America and especially the Muslim world to protest the imprisonment of writers and publishers, but it hasn't a word to say about the imprisonment of writers in Western Europe, the place where RSF itself is housed.
Jean-François Julliard: a simple question. I would be willing to travel to France to speak publicly about the irrational vocabulary of the American professorial class with regard to the Holocaust question. I gave such a talk in Tehran in 2006. I did not need the support of RSF in Iran, but I would need it in the land where RSF is headquartered – in France. Would RSF argue publicly that I would have the right to speak, that French men and women would have the right to listen to me speak, without the threat of arrest, trial, and imprisonment?
Or would RSF, representing half-believers in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – half-believers being those who believe that Article 19 was meant to protect some at the expense of the rest – allow the French State to take me down?
I hardly need to ask, do I?
Sincerely, but with a sincere sense of disappointment,
Bradley R Smith
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro, CA 92143
Telephone: 209 682 5327
NOTE: This letter will be copied to administration and staff at UNESCO headquarters and field offices.