French politicians on Saturday paid tribute to Charlie Hebdo staff and other victims of the January 2015 Islamist attacks, days after the latest edition of the satirical weekly sparked outrage in Iran.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted the names of all 17 victims of a spate of attacks in and around Paris eight years ago, including the 12 people killed in the offices of Charlie Hebdo.
“We will never forget you,” he added, with a cartoon by renowned French cartoonist Plantu below.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne also celebrated the anniversary of the attacks, which also saw a deadly siege of a kosher supermarket.
“The Republic remains standing in the face of Islamist terrorism,” she tweeted. “For their families, for our values, for our freedom: we will not forget.”
And Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak tweeted: “Satire, irreverence, the republican tradition of press cartoons are inherent in our democracy. We continue to defend them.”
The tributes came days after Tehran reacted angrily to cartoons mocking Iran’s leadership in the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo, which appeared on Wednesday.
The magazine had invited cartoonists to portray Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the context of ongoing demonstrations against his theocratic regime, especially by women.
The graphic front attempted to highlight the fight for women’s rights, while others were sexually explicit and offensive to Khamenei and fellow clerics.
Many cartoons pointed to the authorities’ use of the death penalty as a tactic to quell the protests.
– Tehran’s anger –
In response, Iran summoned the French ambassador and called on the government to hold “the instigators of such hatred” accountable.
On Thursday it said it would close the Tehran-based French Institute of Research (IFRI).
“France has no right to insult the sanctity of other Islamic countries and nations under the pretext of freedom of expression,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani.
In Paris, Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin and the city’s mayor Anne Hidalgo on Saturday were among the politicians who attended a ceremony at the former office of Charlie Hebdo, in the city’s 11th arrondissement.
It was there that two gunmen killed magazine staff, including some of its best-known cartoonists.
A few meters away on the same street, Police Lieutenant Ahmed Merabet was shot by the killers as he tried to stop their escape.
The gunmen, who claimed to represent Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), said they were retaliating for previous satirical cartoons in the magazine depicting the prophet Mohammed. They were killed after two days on the run.
The day after the Charlie Hebdo attack, another Islamic gunman killed a police officer in Montrouge, just outside Paris — and a day later, he killed four hostages at a Jewish supermarket in eastern Paris.
He was shot dead when police stormed the premises and freed the remaining hostages.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
Featured video of the day
Road to 2024 via Ram Mandir?