French Blogger Arrested Then Sued

    May 13, 2005

I’ve said before (twice) that it’s all happening in France. What I meant was the way in which so many people and businesses have embraced new media tools like blogs.

What I certainly didn’t mean was attempts to silence a blogger because he posts comment and opinion that are critical of the mayor of the town in which he lives.

News via Loic:

Christophe Grebert, citizen blogger who was already arrested by the local police for his blog, is now sued by the city mayor because he comments how he does not like the way the city is managed every day on his blog.

The city has voted a budget of 29 000 (!) to attack him. Christophe will be in front of judges on June 21st and had to borrow money from friends to organize his defense. If you would like to support him, Christophe just added a paypal tipjar donation button and already received close to $1000 of donations from fellow bloggers. I can’t believe this story and I hope of course he will win.

According to a post on Christophe’s blog, he’s being sued for defamation. While my French isn’t good enough to fully grasp all the detail in Christophe’s post, and neither am I an expert in anything to do with the Code Napolon, I find it hard to believe that critical commentaries posted in his blog could be grounds for a lawsuit. And not only that, the fund to launch the lawsuit comes out of the town’s budget. Surely not the best way to spend money on behalf of the citizens?

France may well be the leading European country for the uptake of blogs, but something like this seems to be ridiculous. Good luck, Christophe!


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