Chechnya’s Prosecutor’s Office demands blocking of websites ‘in support of’ Charlie Hebdo

2 June 2017

The Prosecutor’s Office of Chechnya has found drawings ‘in support of’ French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo ‘during monitoring of the internet’ and believes that these publications are dangerous. The Prosecutor’s Office has now demanded that all online publications that republish caricatures from the journal be outlawed.

Chechnya’s Prosecutor’s Office wrote on its official website that this was the basis for filing a request to the Leninsky Court of Grozny to restrict access to websites that could serve as a ‘prerequisite for inciting ethnic, racial, or religious hatred and enmity’.

The statement doesn’t specify exactly which pages are the subject of the request. Most likely, it refers to a series of cartoons about the persecution of queer men in Chechnya, which included depictions of the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov engaging in a homosexual sex act.

[Read also: ‘Brothers, be careful. Don’t meet up in Grozny’]

Charlie Hebdo, known for its nonconformist cartoons, was targeted in January 2015 by a group of Islamist terrorists, who shot the journal’s four leading cartoonists and one policeman. The attack occurred a few hours after the journal’s Twitter account published a cartoon depicting one of the leaders of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.