The Senegalese government banned the dissemination of Wednesday’s editions of the satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo and the French daily Liberation, both of which put a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on their front pages.
“It is forbidden to distribute and disseminate, by any means, today’s editions of the French magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ and the French newspaper ‘Liberation’ throughout the national territory,” the Senegalese news agency APS reported, citing a statement from the interior ministry.
No Senegalese newspapers or news sites have reprinted the controversial Charlie Hebdo cover, the magazine’s first edition since two Islamist gunmen attacked its Paris offices last week, killing 12 people.
The Charlie Hebdo weekly has repeatedly been the target of threats for its cartoons mocking Muhammad and Wednesday’s edition drew fresh anger from many in the Islamic world, including in Turkey where a court blocked websites from reproducing the latest cartoon.
But the magazine sold out in record time in France and will have a print run of five million copies this week, instead of the usual 60 000.
The image shows the prophet shedding a tear and holding a sign with the slogan “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”), under the headline “All is forgiven”.
The weekly is not widely available in Senegal but can be found in some newsagents. Censorship of the press is rare in the mainly-Muslim country but several local religious leaders have spoken out against the cartoon.
Senegal’s President Macky Sall took part in a massive unity rally in Paris on Sunday that saw millions pour onto the streets to condemn terrorism.