UN: French anti-Muslim cartoons "malicious"

Published Friday, September 21, 2012

The UN's human rights agency on Friday condemned French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's publication of cartoons mocking Prophet Mohammed amid tensions in the Muslim world over an anti-Islam film.

"Both the film and the cartoons are malicious and deliberately provocative," said Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

"In the case of Charlie Hebdo, given they knew full well what happened last week with the film, it seems doubly irresponsible on their part to have published these cartoons," he told reporters in Geneva.

Colville stressed that Pillay understood why people wished to protest against the film and the cartoons for their "disgracefully distorted image of Muslims," but insisted they should do so peacefully.

He meanwhile harshly condemned the 10-day violent backlash over the low-budget US film "Innocence of Muslims" that has spread to at least 20 countries and left more than 30 people dead.

Tensions were heightened when the French satirical weekly on Wednesday published obscene cartoons that mocked both the film and the Prophet Mohammed.

"There's no possible justification for violent and destructive reactions," Colville said, describing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons as "the latest in a string of deliberate provocations targeting particular religions and their followers."

"In our view, the best way to deal with these blatantly deliberate, stupid provocations is to ignore them and deprive them of publicity," he said.

(AFP)

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