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Comic Dieudonné to be sued for Charlie Hebdo gag

Dieudonné, lors d'une conférence de presse à Paris, le 11 janvier 2014.
Dieudonné, lors d'une conférence de presse à Paris, le 11 janvier 2014. Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

French prosecutors said Monday they were investigating controversial French comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala for "defending terrorism" after he posted a Facebook comment that could be interpreted as sympathising with one of last week's attackers in Paris.

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"Tonight, as far as I'm concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly," the comic wrote, playing on the expression "Je suis Charlie", adopted as the rallying cry after shootings at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people died.

Click for RFI reports of the Charlie Hebdo killings

Gunman Amedy Coulibaly killed five people in two other Paris attacks, four of them in a kosher supermarket.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneueve slammed the statement, which was later taken down, as “despicable” and said they were a sign of “irresponsibility, disrespect and a quite simply insufferable propensity to stir up hatred and division”.

The comedian made international headlines in 2013 when the footballer Nicolas Anelka was banned for five matches by English football authorities for using a gesture invented by Dieudonné which many see as anti-Semitic.

The owners of Paris’s Zenith venue declared a ban on Dieudonné’s shows and the mayors of Limoges and Nice announced that they intended to prevent him appearing in their towns during his next tour of France, whose title is “La Bête Immonde” (The Filthy Beast).

An 18-year-old in the eastern town of Châlons-en-Champagne is to face a court for tweeting support for the Charlie Hebdo killings.

Several other people have been arrested for shouting support for the killing of police officers towards other police.
 

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