Saying France has freedom of expression; President Emmanuel Macron said that it was not his place to pass judgment on the decision by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to republish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
According to the report
, Macron said, "It's never the place of a president of the Republic to pass judgment on the editorial choice of a journalist or newsroom, never. Because we have freedom of the press."
The French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo is to republish controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to mark the start of a trial of suspected accomplices of terrorist gunmen who attacked its offices in January 2015.
In 2015, the staff of Charlie Hebdo was decimated in a violent attack by Islamic extremists. Following the attack, thousands of people took to the streets in protest, and the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie (I am Charlie) began trending around the world.
The cartoons of Prophet Muhammad were unleashed a wave of anger in the Muslim world when first published by Charlie Hebdo and other publications. For Muslims, any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.
The editorial team of Charlie Hebdo wrote that now was the right time to republish the cartoons and "essential" as the trial opens.
"We have often been asked since January 2015 to print other caricatures of Muhammad," it said.
"We have always refused to do so, not because it is prohibited -- the law allows us to do so -- but because there was a need for a good reason to do it, a reason which has meaning and which brings something to the debate."