Quake-hit Italian town sues Charlie Hebdo

Rome, Sep 14 (IANS) An Italian town hit by a deadly earthquake is pursuing legal action against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for defamation over a series of cartoons about the tragedy.

An earthquake last month killed at least 292 persons in Italy, most of whom lived in Amatrice, home to a famous tomato sauce “amatriciana”.

The complaint was based on two cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo after the quake, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

One cartoon, entitled “Earthquake Italian Style”, depicted the earthquake victims as sauce-splattered survivors, and layers of Lasagna with blood and feet emerging from it.

The cartoon immediately sparked outcry among Italians and prompted the French embassy in Rome to issue a statement saying the drawing “in no way represents France’s position”.

The publication then responded with a follow-up cartoon suggesting the mafia was to blame, saying “it’s not Charlie Hebdo who built your homes, it’s the mafia!”

“It amounts to a macabre, tactless and inconceivable insult to the victims of a natural catastrophe,” the town council’s lawyer Mario Cicchetti said after the legal move was announced.

In January 2015, two gunmen stormed Charlie Hebdo headquarters in Paris and killed 12 people, to “avenge” the publication of cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammad.

–IANS

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