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US State Dept. Supports Charlie Hebdo Magazine’s Right to ‘Publish Freely’

© AP Photo / Thibault CamusPolice officers stand guard in front of a building where forensic police officers look for evidence relating to the three suspects of the shooting attack at the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo's headquarters in Paris
Police officers stand guard in front of a building where forensic police officers look for evidence relating to the three suspects of the shooting attack at the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo's headquarters in Paris - Sputnik International
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US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf commented on the French Charlie Hebdo magazine's attack by Islamists after it published a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, saying that the US absolutely support the right of Charlie Hebdo to publish things like this.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a television program at the BBC in London - Sputnik International
Cameron Supports Publishing Prophet Muhammad Cartoon on Charlie Hebdo Cover
WASHINGTON, January 14 (Sputnik) – The French Charlie Hebdo magazine that has recently become the target of a terrorist attack by Islamists, who killed 12 of its journalists in the Paris office after it published a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, has the right to publish any material, the US State Department has announced.

"Regardless of what anyone's personal opinion is, and I know there are very heated personal opinions about this, we absolutely support the right of Charlie Hebdo to publish things like this," US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told journalists Tuesday.

Harf stressed that "religious sensitivity", however important it may be to many people, "never justifies violence or hatred".

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According to the spokesperson, there is "a variety of factors" that plays into the decision of a publication such as Charlie Hebdo to release or withhold any given material and "we [US State Department] support the right of these organizations to publish freely".

On January 7, three men attacked the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, killing 12 people. The two terrorists, responsible for the attack were killed later during a police raid. The third suspect turned himself in.

People hold up pens and posters reading 'I am Charlie' in French as they take part in a vigil of people, including many who were French, to show solidarity with those killed in an attack at the Paris offices of weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in Trafalgar Square, London, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The French magazine is known for its cartoons, mocking political and religious figures, among them the Prophet Muhammad, with the cover of the new Charlie Hebdo edition, out on Wednesday, also depicting the Prophet.

Angelique Kourounis, a journalist and producer, working for Charlie Hebdo, told Sputnik radio Wednesday that the satirical magazine has always pursued a secularist policy and that its staff is multiconfessional.

According to Kourounis, Charlie Hebdo plans to continue with its previous policy and will be publishing its usual material, despite the attack.

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