“The assassin is still out there.”
One year after the terrorist attack in Paris on the offices of Charlie Hedbo and subsequent related attacks the satirical magazine has revealed the cover of a special edition.
The satirical magazine lost 12 people when terrorists Saïd and Chérif Kouachi stormed the offices on January 7th 2015. Five more people died in related attacks in France in the following days on a kosher supermarket and at a warehouse.
A year on a striking magazine cover marks the occasion. The cover depicts a bearded God-like man with a Kalashnikov slung across his back. The image is black and white all except for splatters of bright red blood on the hem and the cuff of the man’s robes.
“One year after: The assassin is still out there,” the headline reads as the magazine names religion as the root of recent violence in France.
Laurent Sourisseau, the newspaper’s director who also goes by the name Riss, drew the cover and wrote an editorial describing the horror he survived, denouncing “fanatics” and defending secularism.
“A believer, especially a fanatic, never forgets the affront to his faith, because it is behind and ahead of him forever… It is eternity that fell on us this Wednesday, Jan. 7. These two masked idiots will not screw up the work of our lives.”
The newspaper’s financial director, Eric Portheault, who escaped death by hiding behind his desk when the gunmen stormed in has told of how in the wake of the attacks the staff left behind feel “alone”.
“We feel terribly alone. We hoped that others would do satire too,” he told AFP. “No one wants to join us in this fight because it’s dangerous. You can die doing it.”
He says though the attack has not changed the way they work.
“There is no question of self-censorship, otherwise it would mean they (the attackers) have won,” Portheault said.
“If what is happening in the news leads us to draw the Prophet Mohammed again, we would do it,” he added.
The edition is 32 pages long and will feature cartoons by staff who died in the attack, as well as designs by current cartoonists. One million copies of the edition will go on sale on Wednesday.
The nation is expected to mark the event with subdued ceremonies across various sites.
Commemorative plaques will be unveiled at various locations a City of Paris spokesman has told media while on 10 January, a more public ceremony will take place on the Place de la Republique.