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African press review 12 January 2015

Text by: Fabien Jannic-Cherbonnel
5 min

Most the reactions were unanimous in condemning the Charlie Hebdo attacks, but not everybody came out to condemn the events says the African press today.

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In Morocco, newspaper Libération takes a look at how the country reacted to the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

The newspaper explains when Charlie was attacked on Wednesday, most the reactions in the Kingdom were unanimous in condemning what happened.

But Libération explains that not everybody came out to condemn the events. For example, it says, "most political parties did not express their solidarity with the victims of the attacks in Paris."

Click for RFI reports of the Charlie Hebdo killings

The elections are coming up, reminds the paper. That's why political parties choose to keep it low.

Lots of Moroccans also remember clearly the debate surrounding the publication of cartoons of the Prophet by Charlie Hebdo. But the worst part, according to Libération, is probably that the Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister refused to take part to yesterday's unity march in Paris.

The reason? Salaheddine Mezouar asked French President François Hollande to not represent these cartoons during the march. But for the Casablanca based paper, the march was about defending freedom of speech, not condemning cartoons.

The Egypt Independent reports that a student got three years of jail term for atheism. The Egyptian daily explains that Karim Al-Banna, a 21 year old student, was sentenced by a court yesterday for announcing on Facebook that he is an atheist and for insulting Islam. Apparently, Al-Banna's father testified against his son, charging that he "was embracing extremist ideas against Islam".

According to the Egypt Independent, what happened is that al-Banna was being harassed by his neighbours - his name even "appeared in a list of atheists in a local daily. He went to the police station to file a complaint - that's when he was accused of insulting Islam and arrested.

And it's not the first time this happens. Last June, says the paper, "a Coptic Christian man was sentenced to six years in jail for insulting Islam". Egypt's constitution outlaws insults against the three recognised monotheist religions.

Finally Kenya's teachers are still on strike... and the Kenyan government is not too happy about it according to the Standard. The Kenyan teachers have been on strike for more than a week in protest of the lack of hike of their salaries.

Slideshow Charlie Hebdo

But the government claims the strike is illegal - according to the newspaper, “the procedure set out under the Labour Relations Act 2007 on the tenets of calling for an industrial action was not duly followed".

That's why senior education officials will today be deployed to monitor schools. The Teachers Service Commission has now also directed head teachers to submit to their county directors details of teachers who failed to report for duty.

According to the Standard the commission even warned "there would be dire consequences for teachers on strike. But it doesn't look like this will have an impact on the strike says the newspaper.

Kenyan biggest Union teacher, Kuppet, said the authorities had no legal ground and called for a discussion on the salary issue. For the union, "the Commission should desist from intimidating teachers who are only asking for better terms and conditions of service".

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