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Chechen leader slams Charlie Hebdo caricatures on Russian plane crash

November 06, 2015, 20:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The head of Russia's Chechnya Republic resolutely condemned the inaction of the French authorities
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© Yelena Afonina/TASS

MOSCOW, November 6 /TASS/. Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic, has sharply criticized and condemned the authors of the A321 crash caricatures published by the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

"It is hard to think of bigger mockery at the pain of the families and relatives of the dead and at the pain of the whole nation. My personal opinion is that those who drew and published those caricatures are not human," Kadyrov wrote on his page in Instagram.

The head of Chechnya resolutely condemned the inaction of the French authorities.

"It is interesting for me to know what Paris thinks about it? Will they call it democracy and freedom of speech or will they refer to a personal opinion of a private journalist? I would like to see and hear the reaction of hundreds of thousands of French and hundreds of world politicians who used to express their support for the weekly in the past after it had published caricatures insulting to the Muslims," Kadyrov emphasized.

The caricatures have caused an extremely negative reaction from the Kremlin. Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said they were sacrilegious and had nothing to do with democracy.

"We have one expressive and concise word to describe the whole situation. It is called sacrilege," Peskov told journalists. "This has got nothing to do with democracy, self-expression or anything else. It is blasphemy," the Kremlin spokesperson stressed.

Caricatures to the A321 plane crash in the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo do not lend themselves to comment. Any decent person with a feeling of self-esteem is supposed to have conscience, Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry Ombudsman for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, told TASS on Friday.

"There are situations and actions which one finds hard to comment. A big trouble has happened. It has united people. The numerous condolences, which Russia has received from various corners of the globe, is a convincing proof of that. Everybody, including representatives of the journalistic profession, has expressed their sympathy. It is a human tragedy," Dolgov stressed commenting on the satirical cartoons.

"If anyone is trying to score some points on this troubles, is playing dirty tricks and insulting people’s innermost feelings…it should be left to the conscience of these people," Dolgov said. "These things do not lend themselves to comment. It is hard to fit them into the framework of any civilized discourse," the Russian diplomat stressed.

"The presence of conscience is a vital characteristic for any person," Dolgov said.

The French authorities, meanwhile, have dissociated themselves from the scandalous caricatures. "Journalists are free to express their opinion in France. The French authorities are of no relation to them," French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Romen Nadal said on Friday.

The week’s edition of Charlie Hebdo known for its provocative publications published two cartoons devoted to the Kogalymavia plane crash on its last page.

In January this year, two French of Arab origin attacked the weekly’s Paris-based office after it had published cartoons of Prophet Muhammed. Twelve people, including ten journalists and two policemen, were killed. Another 11 people were injured.

The Airbus A321 plane crash is the biggest in the history of Russian and Soviet aviation. The plane belonging to Russian air company Kogalymavia was en route from Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt to St. Petersburg in Russia (flight KGL 9268) when it crashed over the Sinai Peninsula early on October 31. The plane fell near El Hasna populated locality 100 km to the south of Al-Arish, the administrative center of the North Sinai Governorate (province). All the 224 people onboard, including 217 passengers and the 7-member crew, died. The passengers, most of whom were Russians, also included four Ukrainians and one citizen of Belarus.

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