Lawyer Richard Malka winner of the Political Book Prize


Paris (AFP) – Richard Malka, the lawyer for Charlie Hebdo and the young Mila, was awarded the 2022 Political Book Prize on Saturday for “The right to annoy God” (Grasset), a written version of his pleading in the trial of the Islamist attack against the satirical newspaper.

“There is something more important than the correctness of an opinion: it is the right to express it” within the limits of the law, commented Me Malka, 53, on receiving his prize for this book from less than 100 pages, praised by the jury for the breath and clarity of its defense of freedom of expression and the right to blasphemy.

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The other two finalists were “La Fracture” (Les Arènes), pollsters Frédéric Dabi and Stewart Chau, a very detailed analysis of the opinions and relationship to politics of 18-30 year olds, as well as “We have the policies that we merit” (Fayard), by political scientist Chloé Morin, a book combining an analysis of the crisis of representation and straightforward interviews with several political figures.

Richard Malka succeeds Rachel Kahn (“Racée”) on the charts. In 2020, the Political Book Prize had already rewarded a text linked to Charlie Hebdo, “One minute forty-nine seconds”, an account of the attack on the satirical weekly by its director Riss, who had been one of its rare survivors.

The 2022 prize was awarded to the National Assembly by a jury of journalists chaired by historian Pascal Ory, in the presence in particular of the LREM president of the Assembly, Richard Ferrand.

“The right to annoy God” is also rewarded with the MPs’ prize, the other finalists of which were the book by Frédéric Dabi and Stewart Chau, as well as “France under our eyes”, by Jérôme Fourquet and Jean-Laurent Cassely . Mr. Fourquet had received the Political Book Prize in 2019 for “The French Archipelago”, which has become a bestseller and a reference for the analysis of France in the 2020s.

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Richard Malka has been Charlie Hebdo’s lawyer for many years.

On January 7, 2015, brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi killed 11 people at the newspaper’s editorial office. Among the victims, emblematic figures of “Charlie”, such as its director and cartoonist Charb, the caricaturists Cabu, Wolinksi, Honoré, Tignous and the economist Bernard Maris. A few meters further on, as they were fleeing, they had again killed a policeman who was trying to arrest them.

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