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Charlie Hebdo criticised for Syrian toddler cartoon

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Paris: French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was criticised for publishing a cartoon depicting the death of three-year-old Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi as the magazine’s controversial take on the refugee and migration crisis, media reported on Tuesday.

Photo credit: dailysabah.com
Photo credit: dailysabah.com

The cartoon attributed to the publication and circulating on social media features Aylan lying face down on a beach with the words “So close to his goal…” written above him, The Huffington Post reported. In the background a McDonald’s-style ‘happy meal’ Board states, “Two children’s menus for the price of one.”

Aylan drowned along with his brother and mother on September 2 when the boat they were travelling from the Greek island of Kos to the Turkish town of Bodrum capsized. The family fled after Islamic State militants advanced upon their home town of Kobane.

Another cartoon said to be from the same edition of the magazine is entitled ‘The Proof that Europe is Christian’ and features a man believed to be Jesus standing on the surface of the ocean while a child’s legs’s (presumably meant to be Aylan’s) protrude from the water.

It says: “Christians walk on water… Muslim kids sink.”

The cartoons have been met with a mixed response.

Turkish newspaper The Daily Sabah claimed the images mock the drowned toddler.

Morocco World News concurred, accusing the publication of “hiding behind the freedom of speech.”

“Charlie Hebdo is a purely racist, xenophobic and ideologically bankrupt publication that represents the moral decay of France,” Barrister Peter Herbert, who is Chair of the Society of Black Lawyers and former vice chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, tweeted.

“The Society of Black Lawyers will consider reporting this as incitement to hate crime and persecution before the International Criminal Court.”

Complaints are being left on the magazine’s Facebook page and Twitter users have criticised the images, describing them as “tasteless” and “disgusting.”

But some  have commented that the cartoons are not mocking the dead child and are instead using the tragedy to ridicule Europe for not doing enough to prevent it.

(IANS)

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2 Years on from Terror attack in Paris, Director of Satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo defends his publication’s right to free speech

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A man picks up a copy of Charlie Hebdo newspaper at a newsstand in Rennes, western France, Jan. 14, 2015. VOA

Paris, Jan 7, 2017: The publishing director of the controversial satirical weekly newspaper “Charlie Hebdo” defended his publication’s right to free speech on Saturday, two years on from the terror attack on its Paris headquarters that left 12 people dead.

Laurent Sourisseau, known as Riss, said that the “Charlie Hebdo” team should not be dictated by violence, Efe news reported.

“We’re not going to give up on our job. We’re not going to give up our passion. We’re trying to prevent our lives from being distracted by this violence,” Riss said.

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The cartoonist and author, who was injured in the shooting on January 7, 2015, replaced his renowned former colleague Charb, who was among the 12 victims of the attack, as publishing director of the newspaper.

He described his round-the-clock police protection as an “unfortunate necessity”.

A special edition of “Charlie Hebdo”, issued on Wednesday, dubbed the attack committed by the Kouachi brothers as a “political crime”.

Riss said those who were killed in the shooting were people committed to defending particular forms of expression and ideas, such as satirical illustrations, adding that the attackers wanted to snuff out those voices.

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Since the attack, January 7 has become a symbolic date that has been difficult to forget, Riss said.

The official tributes to the Charlie Hebdo attack and for the Hyper Cacher supermarket attack that killed three people two days later were held on Thursday.

On Saturday, the Place de la Republique in Paris was once again due to become a place of remembrance in a ceremony organised by the French Association of Victims of Terrorism.

–IANS