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Free Speech

French comedian Dieudonné to stand trial over Facebook comments about Paris attacks

Dieudonné seem to say he felt like one of the Paris gunmen

Updated 7.50pm

CONTROVERSIAL FRENCH COMEDIAN Dieudonné was arrested today and will stand trial over a comment he made on Facebook suggesting he sympathised with one of the Paris attackers.

On Monday, Dieudonné wrote on his Facebook page: ”Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly”.

It is was a reference to Amedy Coulibaly who is believed to have shot a Paris policewoman the day after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and was killed by police after shooting dead four people at a Jewish supermarket the following day.

The arrest was one of 54 cases for “condoning terrorism” or “making threats to carry out terrorist acts” opened since Islamist gunmen last week killed 17 people the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo and the supermarket.

Dieudonné was taken in for questioning this morning and a judicial source later said that he would stand trial for condoning terrorism.

A post on his official Facebook page said that all the dates in his tour will continue, and that he will play a gig this evening.

dieudonne facebook Facebook Facebook

Facebook post

Dieudonne made his controversial Facebook post after attending Sunday’s unity march against extremism. He described the march, considered the biggest rally in modern French history, as “a magical moment comparable to the big-bang”.

A judicial source told AFP that Dieudonné was arrested this morning for being an “apologist for terrorism”.

Dieudonné’s notorious brand of comedy and provocation made world headlines in 2013 when French footballer Nicolas Anelka was banned for made a “quenelle” gesture.

The gesture which is used widely, including by Dieudonné, resembles a Fascist salute with the proponent’s arm facing downwards. Critics say it is anti-Semitic but Dieudonné and others argue it is used as an anti-establishment gesture.

Dieudonné’s arrest this morning was chronicled on his own Facebook page and included pictures of officers questioning him.

The post said that police arrived at his home at 7am and reiterated there were talking to him on the grounds that he had made an ‘apology for terrorism’.

Additional reporting - © AFP, 2014

Read: Someone is trying to trademark ‘Je Suis Charlie’ >

Read: Touching ‘All is Forgiven’ Charlie Hebdo cover released >

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