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Outrage over Charlie Hebdo latest cartoon featuring Alan Kurdi as sex offender

Outrage over Charlie Hebdo latest cartoon featuring Alan Kurdi as sex offender

Paris: Charlie Hebdo is known for its satirical cartoons lampooning political and religious leaders. The French satirical magazine had become a symbol of free speech after its Paris office came under the deadly terror attacks last year. This time, the provocative publication may have gone too far.

Satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo is back in the news again this time for its controversial cartoon suggesting Alan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler refugee who drowned and was found on the shores of Turkey, would have grown up to be a sex attacker caused outrage on the social media sites.

The cartoon depicts two male creatures running after terrified women with the caption: "What would have become of the young Alan if he had grown up? A groper in Germany."

Sexual assaults on women in Cologne and other German cities on New Year's Eve, many blamed on migrants, have prompted more than 600 criminal complaints and caused a backlash against German Chancellor Angela Merkel's policies on refugees. More than 1 million entered Germany last year, more than any other European country.

The cartoon was published a week after the anniversary of attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris which killed 12 people in January last year. The phrase "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie"), was swiftly adopted by supporters online.

This time, many people on social media said the cartoon was offensive while others argued Charlie Hebdo was keeping to its usual provocative tone to stir debate on European attitudes to the migrant crisis.

The image of Alan lying face down on a Turkish beach last September appeared around the world and prompted a wave of sympathy for the plight of refugees fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

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