After Charlie Hebdo attack, vigils, protests and publishing bans

Protests against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were held in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East and parts of Africa over the weekend, as crowds demonstrated against the magazine’s portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad, according to news reports.

On January 11, at least 40 world leaders joined more than a million people at a solidarity march in Paris and, in the days after the January 7 attack in Paris in which 12 people including eight journalists were killed, rallies were held in support of the victims and freedom of expression.

But other leaders have denounced the magazine’s cartoons which caricatured politicians, business leaders, and religious figures including the Prophet Muhammad, and issued bans on publishing images from it.

Authorities in several countries issued bans and advisories against using cartoons from the magazine. In China, the government used the attacks as an example of the dangers of a free press, according to Voice of America. An editorial by the state-run Xinhua News Agency on January 11 said there would be fewer tragedies in the world if there were limits to free speech, according to news reports.

The offices of German tabloid Hamburger Morgenpost were firebombed on January 11 in apparant retaliation for the Hamburg daily reprinting several of the cartoons. In Pakistan, Asif Hassan, an Agence France-Presse photographer, was shot and injured during a clash between police and protesters at an anti-Charlie Hebdo rally in Karachi on January 16.

Newspapers in India, South Africa, and Kenya have also released statements apologizing for printing images from the magazine.

A round up of the reaction to the Paris attack, and its impact on press freedom is illustrated in this StoryMap.