News Advisor Julie Bishop contrasts French, Iranian freedoms

Julie Bishop contrasts French, Iranian freedoms

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Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has praised the courage of French magazine Charlie Hebdo, and contrasted the freedoms enjoyed in France with those in Iran, where she was photographed wearing a Muslim headscarf.

On Tuesday, Ms Bishop gave a cartoon drawn by Australian illustrator David Pope to the magazine’s surviving staff, twelve of whose colleagues were killed by ‘brutal’ terrorists in January.

“Coming from Iran where there isn’t the press freedom that there is in France gives us a significant contrast,” Ms Bishop said during her visit to the magazine’s office in Paris.

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“I admire so greatly the fact that you are all here still working and still upholding the values of freedom of the press and the safety of journalists,” she said.

“The events of those two days reflect the perverted hatred of the terrorists, but also reflect the stoicism and the courage of the people who work here and the horrendous experience that you had at that time.”

Conservative commentator Andrew Bolt attacked Ms Bishop on his blog on Monday for wearing a black head covering during talks with the Iranian government in Tehran.

“Good,” was Mr Bolt’s curt response to the Minister’s defence of French law.

The cartoon presented by Ms Bishop, entitled ‘He Drew First’, was drawn by Mr Pope in the immediate aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attack, and was widely shared locally and overseas.

Satire is “an integral part of French society”, Ms Bishop said during her visit.

“It’s as French as croissants.

“If you don’t like what you see or read in this magazine, do not buy it.”

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