A year on, ‘Charlie Hebdo’ is still defiant

The satirical French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, whose staff was decimated by Islamic extremists on January 7, 2015, is running a special edition this week, its cover cartoon a bloody God armed with a Kalashnikov, accompanied by the headline: “One year on. The murderer is still at large.”

In a profanity-laced editorial, editor Laurent Sourisseau (‘Riss’), described the newsroom’s silence moments after the two gunmen opened fire.

But he said the newspaper would remain alive because “never have we wanted so much to break the faces of those who dreamed of our deaths.”

But Eric Portheault, the magazine’s financial manager, who escaped death by hiding behind his desk when the gunmen stormed in, said the paper has been abandoned in its struggle to “laugh at everything”.

Speaking to AFP, he said: “We feel terribly alone. We hoped that others would do satire too. No-one wants to join us in this fight because it’s dangerous. You can die doing it.”

Seventeen people died in the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket two days later. All three attackers died.

Soldiers will be protecting official buildings and religious sites for the Charlie anniversary.

Commemorative plaques will be unveiled at the various sites of the January attacks, including at the weekly’s former offices.


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