News / Asia

    Anti-'Charlie Hebdo' Violence Spreads; Death Toll at 10 in Niger

    A man holds a copy of the Quran during a protest against Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou's attendance last week at a Paris rally in support of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, in Niamey, Jan. 17, 2015.
    A man holds a copy of the Quran during a protest against Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou's attendance last week at a Paris rally in support of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, in Niamey, Jan. 17, 2015.
    VOA News

    Niger's president said Saturday that at least 10 people had been killed in two days of violent protests over the cartoon depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

    President Mahamadou Issoufou said five people were killed Saturday in church fires and violent clashes in the capital, Niamey. At least five others were killed a day earlier in the southern town of Zinder. The protests there included attacks on a French cultural center, several churches and Christian shops.

    The violence erupted despite a government decision to ban the distribution of Charlie Hebdo in the Muslim-dominated West African country.

    Sani Iro, communications director for PNDS-Tarayya, the ruling Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism, said the distribution ban was aimed at ensuring peace in Niger. Critics said the decision infringed on freedom of speech guaranteed in the constitution.

    The latest cover of Charlie Hebdo depicts a weeping Prophet Muhammad, holding a sign reading "Je Suis Charlie" ("I Am Charlie"), under the headline "All is Forgiven."  

    This was the first edition of the French magazine to be issued since gunmen attacked the publication's offices in Paris recently. Twelve people were killed in the assault. The killings were said to be retaliation for Charlie Hebdo's previous depictions of Muhammad.

    French President Francois Hollande on Saturday defended free speech, saying that anti-Charlie Hebdo protesters in other countries do not understand France's attachment to freedom of speech.

     

    • Men move a policeman by stretcher who was wounded after being hit by stones during a protest organized by Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (JTI), the student wing of religious political party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), against the satirical French weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, Jan. 16, 2015.
    • Supporters of Pakistani religious group Jamaat-i-Islami protest caricatures published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo, in Karachi, Pakistan, Jan. 16, 2015.
    • Supporters of Jamiat Talaba Islam (JTI), the student wing of religious political party Jamat Islami (JI), chant slogans during a protest against satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo, which most recently featured a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover, Karachi, Pakistan, Jan. 16, 2015.
    • A policeman uses his gun to disperse protesters during a protest against satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo, which featured a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover after the terror attack in Paris, Karachi, Pakistan, Jan. 16, 2015.
    • Protesters chant slogans during a protest against satirical French weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which featured a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover after the terror attack in Paris, Quetta, Pakistan, Jan. 16, 2015.
    • Supporters of Jamiat Talaba Islam (JTI), the student wing of Jamat Islami (JI), throws stones at policemen during a protest against satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo, which featured a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on its cover after the Paris terror attack, Karachi, Pakistan, Jan. 16, 2015.    

     

    Protests in Asia, Mideast

    Violent demonstrations also occurred in Karachi, Pakistan, where several hundred protesters clashed with police. A photographer with the French news agency AFP was reported to be among three people wounded.

    Protests also took place in other major Pakistani cities, including Islamabad and Lahore, and in Istanbul, Turkey.

    Yemenis chant slogans during a protest against caricatures published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo in front of the French Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015.Yemenis chant slogans during a protest against caricatures published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo in front of the French Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015.
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    Yemenis chant slogans during a protest against caricatures published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo in front of the French Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015.
    Yemenis chant slogans during a protest against caricatures published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo in front of the French Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015.

    In Yemen, protesters gathered Saturday in front of the French Embassy in Sanaa, chanting slogans against caricatures published in the French satirical weekly.

    In Algiers, Algeria, police clashed with demonstrators who threw rocks and bottles around the waterfront area of the capital. Hundreds of people had earlier marched peacefully through the capital, waving placards saying "I am Muhammad."

    Largely peaceful marches took place in the capitals of West African countries Mali, Senegal and Mauritania.

    Jordanians chant slogans during a protest against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, after Friday prayers in Amman, Jan. 16, 2015.Jordanians chant slogans during a protest against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, after Friday prayers in Amman, Jan. 16, 2015.
    x
    Jordanians chant slogans during a protest against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, after Friday prayers in Amman, Jan. 16, 2015.
    Jordanians chant slogans during a protest against cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, after Friday prayers in Amman, Jan. 16, 2015.

    In Amman, Jordanians gathered to protest against satirical French cartoons after Friday prayers.

    In Sudan, protesters took to the streets of Khartoum to protest against France and Charlie Hebdo. Some carried large banners bearing such slogans as "Death for French" and "Charlie Hebdo offends the Prophet."

    In Islam, visual representations of all the prophets and messengers of God are prohibited in order to prevent idolatry and the worshipping of the images themselves rather than God.

    Ayaz Gul contributed to this report from Islamabad, and some information came from Reuters. Peter Clottey contributed reporting.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 7
        Next 
    by: Tom from: USA
    January 28, 2015 2:54 PM
    Where is my comment?

    It is not here anywhere.

    by: Larry from: Earth
    January 18, 2015 9:46 PM
    Why didn't England do this act when Robin Hood: Men in Tights was released? Why doesn't stuff like this happen when Just for Laughs: Gags use a person dressed up in a Jesus costume playing pranks? Thinking of signs people acting out were holding how they love their religion must mean everybody HAS to feel the exact same way they do or it'seems o.k. to bring harm to them right?
    In Response

    by: Jim
    January 19, 2015 5:58 AM
    Another example of cultural ignorance? A better question, why would anyone express these sort of conduct? Then act childishly that people are angry. Sounds like disregard towards social accountability.

    by: Bern Meister
    January 18, 2015 8:23 AM
    I always feel uneasy with somebody who cannot appreciate a good pint of beer, a good woman or a good joke. Its not just religion, it is also a clash of two ethnicities. Europe v Middle east. Who will win?

    by: Anonymous
    January 18, 2015 6:01 AM
    Let niger reason well. they are just africans, they are fighting a WAR OF ARABS, when shall they fight their problems, is it ignorance. They are discriminated by arabs. THEIR MINDS ARE WASHED

    by: ouramu from: Africa
    January 18, 2015 3:44 AM
    Please! Try to know islam the religion, but not the muslims, precisely the truly islam.

    by: peter from: France
    January 18, 2015 12:46 AM
    french government is a bullish and crazy government, insulting is not speech of freedom. it is an absurd and foolish action. you can criticize not insult. the second ppoint, if the speech of freedom exists, why does no body say about the crimes of french government in the decade of 1950 and 1960 in Algeria? the freedom of speech is only a play for bullish french government government! French government killed around1 million people in Algeria, some of them were beheaded ! why no media reports it
    In Response

    by: jacqueslebeau from: Canada
    January 18, 2015 10:26 AM
    Please explain how publishing a cartoon depicting a guy with a beard saying "all is forgiven" is insulting. And what do events in Algeria more than a half century ago have to do with this?

    by: Dwain Hill
    January 17, 2015 10:17 PM
    these uprisings are from a religion of peace right???
    If Christians rose up like that every time Christ was insulted what would the world be like?

    by: Terry from: Canada
    January 17, 2015 10:12 PM
    People need to look at what the agenda is with all of these incidents. You all should not be buying into this. The objective is to create Rage and Violence. Without either of those they lose so stop and think about things and remain calm. If they can't stir thing up it will be harder for them to hide the truth so be patient.

    by: Hypocrisy101 from: Aden
    January 17, 2015 9:33 PM
    The PURE HYPOCRISY of utilizing free speech to launch violent demonstrations to protest free speech, should not escape you.
    I swear Muslims think the rest of the world actually cares what they think....

    by: Sam from: singapore
    January 17, 2015 8:24 PM
    The West defends freedom of speech? That's bull! Try poking fun at Jews or gays and they will call it hate speech. It's freedom of speech selectively applied.
    In Response

    by: Jim
    January 18, 2015 4:12 PM
    Glad what you see decided the world. Making disparaging comments at others does provoke violence. I guess his point remains valid.
    In Response

    by: boonskis from: usa
    January 18, 2015 1:07 AM
    I have yet to see a bunch of upset gay guys burst in on those poking fun at them. I think the difference is that: the point is, go ahead and call it hate speech. Explain why. Freedom of speech isn't so much a function of what a state permits or doesn't permit, it is about how a society reacts to statements people make.
    Comments page of 7
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