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Russia fury over Charlie Hedbo crash cartoons

The Local/AFP · 6 Nov 2015, 13:21

Published: 06 Nov 2015 13:21 GMT+01:00

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France's satirical magazine was once again making enemies on Friday after it published cartoons featuring the Russian plane crash over Egypt.
One cartoon shows debris and human remains raining down on an armed Isis militant, with the caption: "IS: Russian aviation is intensifying bombardments," a reference to its air strikes in Syria.
Another shows a skull with a pair of sunglasses hanging off it with the crashed plane in the background.
It is titled "The dangers of Russian low-cost airlines", and the speech bubble says "I should have taken Air Cocaine," a reference to a current scandal over French pilots smuggling drugs from the Dominican Republic.
The reaction from Moscow and on Twitter was swift.
"In our country we can sum this up in a single word: sacrilege," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
"This has nothing to do with democracy or self-expression. It is sacrilege."
The Kremlin spokesman called the cartoons "unacceptable" but said Russia would not make an official complaint.
On Russian-language Twitter, hashtags "Charlie Hebdo" and "I'm not Charlie" were among the top trends on Friday.
Writing on Twitter, the lower house of parliament's international affairs chief Alexei Pushkov asked: "Is there any limit to Russophobia on the pages of Western media?
"As the whole world condoles with us, Charlie Hebdo preaches its vile right to sacrilege."
Russian state television news gave lengthy coverage to criticism of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, which it did not show.
Story continues below…
"It's not satire but filthy mockery," said the deputy speaker of the lower house, Ivan Melnikov, in televised comments.
"Is anyone else 'Charlie'?" asked foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Facebook, referring to the message "Je Suis Charlie" circulated by the magazine's supporters after the massacre.

Charlie Hebdo made a name for itself worldwide by choosing to publish cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed, which lead to protests in Muslim countries around the world.

Cherif and Said Kouachi, two Muslim extremists said they were avenging those cartoons when they stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo on January 7th, killing 12 people.

The air crash cartoons, published on Wednesday, have not been widely covered in French media, but come just weeks after the same magazine was blasted for making light of Down's Syndrome.
Charlie Hebdo's front cover referred to a controversial gaffe-prone French politician as the "secret Down's syndrome child of Charles de Gaulle".

The cover showed an unflattering image of Morano, who has now become a hate-figure after her latest remarks, in the arms of former French president Charles de-Gaulle.

Next to it are the words: “Morano, the secret Down’s Syndrome daughter of de Gaulle”.

http://t.co/0cZkCRfz54 PureMedias: La Une de "Charlie Hebdo" avec Nadine Morano trisomique choque une maman pic.twitter.com/TGRg9wPdxp

— Cyber-Actu (@CyberActualite) October 7, 2015

The cover prompted harsh reaction on Twitter, but also from the mother of a Down's Syndrome child, who lambasted the magazine in an emotional column for the L’Express newspaper.

“You know what Charlie, it’s not funny. You have hurt all those close to people who have Down’s Syndrome,” said Caroline Boudet, whoseFacebook post about being a parent of Louise, her child with Down’s Syndrome went viral in the summer.


The Local/AFP (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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