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France not insulting anyone, says Hollande after anti-Charlie Hebdo protests

media François Hollande, 20 Jan 2015 AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

French president François Hollande declared in a speech on Monday evening that France “was not insulting anyone when it defended its ideas”, in a reference to anti-Charlie Hebdo protests in some countries.

At a reception to mark the 70th birthday of the Paris-based press agency AFP, Hollande said “France is not lecturing - not to any country - but France does not accept intolerance” adding that “the French flag is always a flag of liberty.”

Hollande paid tribute to journalists killed in the field and made special mention of Asif Hassan, an AFP photographer who was seriously injured while covering an anti-Charlie Hebdo demonstration in Pakistan on Friday.

The boss of AFP used the occasion to underline that AFP is independent and not a government-controlled news agency.

Meanwhile Clarissa Jean-Philppe, the 26-year-old policewoman who was killed by terrorist Amédy Coulibaly on 8th January (the day after the Charlie Hebdo attacks) was buried on Monday in Martinique in the French West Indies, where she grew up.

Representing the French president, the minister for overseas departments and territories George Pau-Langevin led the funeral cortège, which followed the coffin from the central square in the town of Saint Marie to the church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption.

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