French paper La Nouvelle Republique threatened after publishing Mohammad cartoons

by Reuters
Wednesday, 21 October 2020 06:56 GMT

PARIS, Oct 21 (Reuters) - French regional newspaper La Nouvelle Republique has received threats on social media after it published a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad on its front page, one of its journalists said on Wednesday.

On Oct. 18, the Nouvelle Republique paper re-published an earlier satirical drawing of the Prophet Mohammad from magazine Charlie Hebdo, to highlight the threat from Islamic extremists, following last week's murder of French teacher Samuel Paty.

The journalist, Christophe Herigault, told BFM TV on Wednesday that while the vast majority had given the paper's front page a positive reaction, as a defence of freedom of speech and democracy, a small number had issued threats against the paper.

"There were four or five threats, notably on Facebook, which has led us to lodge a judicial complaint, as a matter of principle," Herigault told BFM TV.

Officials at the local police department could not immediately be reached.

Paty was beheaded in broad daylight outside his school in a Paris suburb by an 18-year old suspected Islamist, after he had shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression, angering a number of Muslim parents. Muslims believe any depiction of the Prophet to be blasphemous.

Police subsequently shot dead the attacker.

Paty's murder has shocked France, and carried echoes of the attack five years ago on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, after the magazine had also published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in 2015. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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