Comedian Dieudonné arrested for ‘defending terrorism’, others jailed
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French police detained controversial comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala for defence of terrorism over a Facebook posting following Sunday’s Charlie Hebdo solidarity march. Another man was sentenced to a year in prison for the same crime on Tuesday evening.
The comic, who goes by the stage name of Dieudonné, was taken into custody on Wednesday morning, following Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve’s furious reaction to a posting that briefly appeared on the humourist’s Facebook page.
“Tonight, as far as I'm concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly," the comic wrote, playing on the expression "Je suis Charlie" slogan taken up by millions around the world after shootings at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people died.
Gunman Amedy Coulibaly killed five people in two other Paris attacks, four of them in a kosher supermarket.
He also appeared to mock Sunday’s march, calling it “a magical moment comparable to the big bang”.
Cazeneuve described the statement, which was taken down after a few hours, as “despicable” and police took Dieudonné, whose shows were banned because of anti-Semitic content a year ago, into custody on Wednesday morning.
A 22-year-old man was jailed for a year on Tuesday evening for another Facebook posting - a video mocking Ahmed Merabet, the police officer killed during the Charlie Hebdo attack.
And a 34-year-old man was jailed for four years after praising the Kouachi brothers, who killed Merabet and 11 other people on Wednesday, when police arrested him for drunk driving after a car accident in which several people were injured.
About 50 other cases have been brought for defence of terrorism across the country, according to Le Monde newspaper.