Among those reportedly arrested is French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala—the frequent focus of charges of anti-Semitism—who wrote on Facebook: "Tonight, as far as I'm concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly," which combines the popular Je suis Charlie slogan with the name of Amédy Coulibaly, the gunman behind last week's deadly attack at a kosher supermarket. (We didn't say it was a funny post.)
"I'm finally going home," he wrote. "Know that this evening, as far as I'm concerned, I'm feeling like Charlie Coulibaly [French: je me sens Charlie Coulibaly]." He was arrested Monday and charged with condoning terrorism.
After his arrest, Dieudonné deleted the offending post, and took to Facebook to defend himself. "I'm being seen as an Amedy Coulibaly when I'm no different from Charlie," he said, a point several prominent journalists have echoed on Twitter.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 14, 2015
The real explanation:
' i feel charlie coulibaly '
' for a year, i am treated like the public enemy number 1, while I sought only to make laugh. [...] It myself as a amedy coulibaly, while i am not different from charlie '
The French government has previously accused Dieudonné of supporting anti-Semitism and banned several of his one-man shows last year. According to Agence France-Press, he'll stand trial for the "Coulibaly" Facebook post.
The comic is just one of dozens arrested by French authorities for condoning or threatening terrorism since last week's attacks.
The justice ministry said on Wednesday that 54 cases had been opened since the murders of 17 people in Paris last week. Of those, 37 cases involved condoning terrorism and 12 were for threatening to carry out terrorist acts.
Some fast-track custodial sentences have already been handed down under anti-terror legislation passed last November
- A man of 22 was jailed on Tuesday for a year for posting a video mocking one of the three murdered policemen
- A drunk driver was given four years in prison after making threats against the police who arrested him
- Three men in their twenties were jailed in Toulouse for condoning terrorism
- A man of 20 was jailed in Orleans for shouting "long live the Kalash[(nikov]" at police in a shopping centre
[Image via Getty]