Sunday 20 May 2018

Charlie Hebdo to publish one million copies of special edition to mark anniversary of massacre

Front cover within - may offend some readers.

Charlie Hebdo was attacked by Islamic extremists in January
Charlie Hebdo was attacked by Islamic extremists in January
‘Charlie Hebdo’ supporters. Photo: AFP
Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

Controversial French weekly satirical Charlie Hebdo is to release one million copies of a special edition on Wednesday, one year since the terrorist attack which left twelve people dead.

The cover of the special edition features a bearded depiction of God with a Kalashnikov automatic rifle on his back with the text "One year on: The assassin is still out there" (translated).

One million copies will be printed and available on Wednesday in newsstands across France, with thousands expected to ship around the world days later.

The special edition will include a collection of cartoons by the five slain artists.

Wednesday is the one year anniversary of the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices, which saw brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi kill twelve people in the magazine's offices in Paris.

The attack saw circulation of the magazine soar as the publication refused to be cowed. The weekly had sales of 30,000 which reportedly rose to 7.5m for the first episode following the attack. They now have 200,000 subscribers and distribute 100,000 newstand copies a week.

Financial director Eric Portheault told the Guardian that the staff of the satirical 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".

Following the attack a year ago there were outpourings of grief and solidarity around the world with the global #JeSuisCharlie movement.

The three gunmen involved in the attack were shot dead by security police following three days of violence in which four hostages were killed.

France will mark the anniversary with "subdued ceremonies are to take place under heavy security", according to Reuters.

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