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Caged words

An appeal for the release of Jean-Marc Rouillan

lundi 27 octobre 2008

Jean-Marc Rouillan has just seen his partial freedom [1] revoked by the parole board. The French state has locked him back up for commenting on the conditions of his release – a ban on speaking about why he had been serving life [2] – but this is really about refusing him the freedom of speech. An appeal has just been launched so it is time to take action.

Petition for the release of Jean-Marc Rouillan

Since 2001, Jean-Marc Rouillan has published nine works (novels and short stories) which are those of an individual belonging to the oppressed class and a political writer of proletarian fiction about which Henry Poulaille remarked « We only have to look back through our memories to show, without any alteration, reality as it was when we came into this world, to do revolutionary writing. » Rouillan’s renewed detention is typical of how those in power, as they have demonstrated throughout history, seek to silence the free speech of the people. And the intellectual world cannot risk any violation of the right to freedom of expression. How long can it afford to ignore the writing of Stig Dagermann, relentlessly quoted by the Nobel Prize winner, J.M.G. Le Clézio ?

« One particular reproach makes more sense than all others : the one leveled at the lack of writers’ involvement in the social struggle. The poet ought to understand that saying it belongs to another world is not enough for literature. It will be pointless to announce, voice trembling, that he wants to remain free because nobody can be « free » enough to be excused from becoming involved in the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressors who, despite everything that is said about them, will be a sad fact of the current social system as long as it lasts. Talking about freedom in this context is like being either lazy, despicable or not caring. [...] All the social reforms and utopias seem futile in a world-wide system where collapse is the only dead cert. Yet it is all about self-defense against that same order, even if you are sadly aware of the fact [...] that although purely symbolic, defense and attack are an absolute necessity to avoid dying of shame. »

We call upon writers, philosophers, editors, film makers, performers, journalists, all those facing censure, to take a stand against this ban on a French writer’s freedom of expression by signing and passing on the appeal. You may show your support in a short text to be published on-line alongside the appeal.

We believe the reasons for Jean-Marc Rouillan’s re-imprisonment to be a violation of the right to freedom of expression.

We find the interpretation of Jean-Marc Rouillan’s words by the media and the parole board revolting.

We shall rise up against his detention and demand his unconditional release.

Les mots en marche

Postal adress : Les Billardes - 04300 Forcalquier (France)

Documents joints


[1] Discretionary Conditional Release or DCR

[2] HMP

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