Thousands gather in Tehran to protest Charlie Hebdo cartoons


Iranian students have gathered in huge numbers in front of the French embassy to express their outrage at the release of cartoons by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The demonstrators on Monday chanted slogans against the French magazine and called for the expulsion of the French ambassador from Iran.

The protesters also urged Iranian foreign ministry officials to show a swift reaction to the sacrilegious move.

The rally, which began with a demonstration outside of the French embassy building in Neauphle-le-Château street, gradually turned into a march after thousands more joined the demonstration.

The ceremony was attended by dozens of lawmakers, including those representing the minorities in the Iranian parliament. Other political activists, as well as some government officials were also present in the demo.

Iran officially condemned the killing of 12 people in a January 7 attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris. However, feelings are running high in Iran against the release of cartoons by the weekly last Wednesday which clearly insulted prophet Mohammad.

Protests in other Muslim states have mostly turned violent, with many protesters calling for immediate expulsion of France’s diplomatic staff from their countries. The protesters also want the French government to abandon its policy of defending such sacrilegious moves under the pretest of defending the freedom of expression.

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