A French satirical paper whose Paris offices were attacked by Islamic extremists in 2015 has reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to mark the start of a trial this week.
Twelve members of staff, including some of France’s most celebrated cartoonists, were killed when Islamist gunmen Cherif and Said Kouachi stormed the offices on January 7. They then killed a wounded policeman outside the building before shouting ‘we have avenged the Prophet’ while fleeing.
Two days later, Amedy Coulibaly, a prison acquaintance of the brothers attacked a nearby kosher supermarket on the eve of the Jewish Sabbath and killed four hostages and a policewoman. He and the Kouachi brothers were subsequently killed in police raids.
Charlie Hebdo has now reprinted controversial cartoons of Prophet Mohammed in an editorial released this week as alleged accomplices in the attacks go to trial.
Thirteen men and a woman are accused of providing the attackers with weapons and logistics, and are facing terrorist charges in court on Wednesday.
Charlie Hebdo’s director Laurent ‘Riss’ Sourisseau said of the decision to republish the images: ‘We will never lie down. We will never give up.’
The issue’s front cover shows cartoons first published in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten newspaper, before being reprinted by Charlie Hebdo in 2006, sparking anger across the Islamic world.
A central cartoon on the cover was drawn by Jean ‘Cabu’ Cabut who lost his life in the massacre. The accompanying words read: ‘All of this, just for that.’
In the paper, the team wrote that the cartoons ‘belong to history, and history cannot be rewritten nor erased’.
Mr Sourisseau, one of the few members of staff to survive the attack, named each of the victims in his foreword on the edition.
He continued: ‘Rare are those who, five years later, dare oppose the demands that are still so pressing from religions in general, and some in particular.’
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