Saturday, October 1, 2022

French Comedian Set to be Tried Over Charlie Hebdo Joke


*A French comedian is looking at a serious situation after making a joke regarding the Charlie Hebdo newspaper.

Reuters reports the comedian, Dieudonne M’bala M’bala is to be tried on suspicion of glorifying terrorism. The charge stems from a comment Dieudonne wrote on Facebook, which stated that he felt “Charlie Coulibaly.” The name is a play on words that combined the “I am Charlie” vigil slogan with the name of one of the three gunmen responsible for the widespread massacre in the country last week.

The gunman who inspired the joke, Amedy Coulibaly, killed a policewoman and four customers at a kosher shop last week in Paris, two days after two gunmen shot 12 people at and near the offices of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper, according to Reuters.

On Monday, prosecutors in the case launched an inquiry into Dieudonne’s Facebook comment. Prosecutors later revealed that the entertainer would face trial after being detained for questioning by authorities on Wednesday.

In an interview with BFM-TV, Dieudonne’s lawyer, Jacques Verdier, stated that arresting his client for the “Charlie Coulibaly” comment was “completely out of proportion.”

The “Charlie Coulibaly” isn’t the first time Dieudonne has gotten on the wrong side of the law. Reuters noted that the comic has already faced accusations of anti-Semitism and mocked the killing of U.S. reporter James Foley by Islamic State militants.

Although he’s said he’s not anti-Semitic, Dieudonne has been repeatedly fined for hate speech in France . As a result, his shows in several towns have banned by local authorities as a threat to public order.

This week, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve weighed in on the situation, saying that European officials should work more closely with Internet companies to eliminate hate speech and content glorifying terrorism.

News of the investigation comes after more than 3.7 million people recently marched through the streets of France. Many of the people participating in the were reportedly holding “I am Charlie” signs to honor the memory of the Charlie Hebdo journalists, policemen and shoppers killed by the Islamist gunmen.




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