THIS week’s edition of Charlie Hebdo, put together by survivors of last week’s newsroom massacre in Paris by Islamist gunmen, will defiantly feature caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, its lawyer said yesterday.
The special issue, to come out tomorrow, will also be offered in 16 languages for readers around the world.
Charlie Hebdo’s lawyer, Richard Malka, told French radio the upcoming publication would obviously lampoon Mohammed – among other figures – to show staff would “cede nothing” to extremists seeking to silence them.
The two gunmen who slaughtered 12 people in their attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices last Wednesday – including five of its top cartoonists and three other staff members – claimed as they left the scene that they had “avenged the Prophet Mohammed”.
The gunmen, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, claimed to belong to the jihadist group al-Qaeda in Yemen.
They were killed on Friday, as was an accomplice, Amedy Coulibaly, who claimed affiliation to the rival Islamic State group, in separate but coordinated French commando raids on sites in and near Paris where they had taken hostages.
The surviving Charlie Hebdo staff have since Friday been working out of the offices of another French newspaper, Liberation.
The 44-year-old newspaper has always sought to break taboos with its provocative cartoons on all religions, current events and prominent personalities.
It had been sliding towards bankruptcy before the attack against it. It used to typically sell only half of the 60 000 copies it printed weekly.
But since gaining worldwide recognition in the past few days, it has earned pledges of support from the French government and media groups.
One million copies of this week’s special survivors’ issue are to printed, with many of them to be made available outside of France.