When sound is mightier than the sword

Biniam Simon is a softly spoken man, but his voice aims to bring down a dictatorship.

Biniam Simon

Broadcasting from an independent radio station in a quiet Parisian side street, Simon is a 43-year-old journalist in exile, a refugee of the east African country you’ve never heard of, don’t care about, but probably should: Eritrea.

Elections are repeatedly postponed, torture is widespread and Amnesty International believes at least 10,000 political prisoners have been locked up. The country’s press freedom ranking, 180th out of 180, puts it behind North Korea.

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Street crime in Paris: an investigation

Paris’s tourist season is hotting up but the French capital has a bad reputation for street crime. I went across the city to investigate.

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Photograph: The Local

For Paris’s Jewish community, life must go on

The healing inside Paris’s Jewish community goes on. Two months after the deadly hostage crisis that killed four Jews at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes, the store has re-opened, a symbolic moment of perseverance and defiance of terror.

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Laurent Mimoun, 49, a co-director of the Hyper Cacher family group, said he had no choice but to re-open the kosher supermarket. ‘We’re here to rebuild everything that is material, knowing that we can’t rebuild lives,’ he said. ‘But we have to do it. We cannot abandon this place, or sell it and let it become something else. It’s important that it returns to what it was, in order to affirm life.’

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