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Robert Ménard (born 6 July 1953, in Oran in Algeria) is one of the founders and the current Secretary-General of the Paris-based international non-governmental organization, Reporters Without Borders.

Ménard came from an old French family which had lived in Algeria since the 1850s. When he was nine years old, the family moved to Brusque, Aveyron. He studied religion, and planned on becoming a priest. While in college, he became aligned with Trotskyist elements, and joined the Socialist Party.

In 1975–1976, Ménard created a pirate radio station, Radio Pomarède, and became president of l'Association pour la libération des ondes, The Association for the liberation of the airwaves. He became the target of many lawsuits, in one of which, François Mitterrand, later President of France gave a character reference. He later created a free magazine, Le Petit biterrois, but was forced to close it down due to a lack of advertisers. In 1985, he created Reporters Without Borders.

A Rue89 post claims Ménard became the focus of significant controversy after an interview with France Culture, in which in response to a question about the case of the kidnapped journalist Daniel Pearl, he made a statement which some have interpreted as saying that the use of torture could be justified in some circumstances.[1]

On 24 March 2008, Ménard and two other members of Reporters Without Borders were arrested for attempting to disrupt the lighting of the Olympic Flame prior to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. The disruption was aimed at protesting the crackdown on Tibetan civil rights activities by the Government of the People's Republic of China. [2]

Ménard resigned from his role as Secretary-General of Reporters without borders in September 2008[3] and became Director-General of the Doha Center for Media Freedom in Qatar which opened in October 2008.[4][5]

Ménard is married to Emmanuelle Duverger. They have two children.

Works

Ménard is the co-author, with his wife, of La Censure des bien-pensants (The Censure of Right-thinking People). The establishment of the organisation Reporters Without Borders has been very beneficial for members of the media and plays a significant role in providing safe guards to media members internationally. Additionally, they also highlight the problems facing members of the media when covering events, especially in areas of disturbance or conflict.

References

External links

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