Charlie Hebdo uncowed after assaults, however now with bodyguards

Paris, September 7

More than 5 years after Islamist militants killed 12 of their colleagues, workers at French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo say they re-published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad to inform the world they’re “still standing”—albeit with a safety element.

Police officers guard the doorway to the journal’s new, bunker-like workplace, and a few workers have bodyguards shadowing them.

“We say ‘Good morning’ to the cops when we arrive in the morning,” mentioned Laure Daussy, a author who joined the journal quickly after the assaults. “That’s not something you ought to get used to.”

The gunmen are lifeless, however on September 2 a Paris courtroom started listening to the trial of 14 folks accused of being their accomplices. To mark the beginning of the trial, Charlie Hebdo republished the cartoons which, when first printed, turned it right into a goal of searing anger and a world image of free speech.

“It’s to show that we are still standing, still alive, still doing Charlie,” mentioned Antonio Fischetti, who has labored for Charlie Hebdo since 1997.

Anticipating sturdy gross sales, the journal mentioned it printed 200,000 copies of final week’s challenge.  While earlier than it struggled to remain afloat with weekly gross sales of 30,000, the primary version after the assaults bought eight million copies. Weekly gross sales have now settled again to round 55,000, the journal mentioned.

Tens of hundreds of individuals protested in Pakistan on Saturday over the re-publication, chanting “Death to France”. In France, criticism has been muted.

The rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Hafiz Chems-eddine, wrote after the cartoons have been republished that Charlie Hebdo ought to proceed to precise itself.

Abdallah Zekri, director of the French Council for the Muslim Faith, referred to as on French Muslims to disregard the re-published cartoons. “I think it’s an operation by Charlie Hebdo for PR, for marketing,” Zekri informed the Franceinfo broadcaster. “I leave that to its conscience.”


While the years for the reason that assault haven’t blunted Charlie Hebdo’s willingness to impress, they’ve introduced a keener understanding of the associated fee this carries, in keeping with present and former workers.

The journal moved its workplaces to an undisclosed location that a number of workers described as a windowless bunker. The journal additionally employs a non-public safety agency at a value of about 1 million euros per 12 months to protect the newsroom.

Body guards present by state regulation enforcement businesses are assigned to some cartoonists and writers, in keeping with a number of Charlie Hebdo workers.

An inside ministry spokesman mentioned the ministry had no data to offer with reference to Charlie Hebdo’s safety preparations.

Pierrick Juin, a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist, who joined after the assaults, mentioned he tends to not say the place he works when he is on reporting journeys. “You don’t know how it’s going to be received,” he mentioned.

On the day of the Charlie Hebdo assault, veteran author Fischetti was out of the workplace at his aunt’s funeral.

The greatest change since then, he mentioned, was the temper within the journal’s workplaces.

“When I first joined Charlie at the end of the 90s there was this carefree-ness. It was a gang of buddies who goofed around, had fun, had a laugh.”

“Now, we’re no longer in that carefree era. We’ve lost that forever.” Reuters

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