Sign the petition, they insist. But nobody ever asks to whom the petition is addressed. It has been signed now by nearly 160,000 people since it was launched in early November, three months before the one they want released was even incarcerated. Is it addressed to the French judiciary? The French government? The European Court of Human Rights? No, none of them. No, it is addressed to All Free Spirits / Citizens of the world. In other words, it is a public relations exercise, designed to convince hundreds of thousands of people of the innocence of the accused. It serves no other purpose, for otherwise it would be addressed to those capable of taking action. An MP perhaps. Or a senior judge. Or the editor of the most influential newspaper in France. Or the prime minister. Yes, but not Free Spirits — as lovely as they sound — who are incapable of effecting change.