L'hebdomadaire satirique français Charlie Hebdo, la cible d'un massacre commis par des hommes armés islamistes en 2015, a déclaré mardi qu'il republiait des caricatures extrêmement controversées du prophète Mahomet pour marquer le début de cette semaine du procès des complices présumés de l'attaque.
“We’ll never go to bed. We will never give up, ”director Laurent“ Riss ”Sourisseau wrote in an editorial to accompany the cartoons from the last edition.
“The hatred that struck us is still there and, since 2015, it has taken time to mutate, to change in appearance, to go unnoticed and to quietly continue his ruthless crusade,” he said.
Twelve people, including some of France’s most famous cartoonists, were killed on January 7, 2015, when brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi engaged in a gun rampage in the newspaper’s offices in Paris.
The perpetrators were killed in the massacre but 14 suspected accomplices in the attacks, which also targeted a Jewish supermarket, will stand trial in Paris on Wednesday.
The latest Charlie Hebdo cover shows a dozen cartoons first published by the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten in 2005 – then reprinted by the French weekly in 2006, unleashing a storm of anger across the Muslim world.
In the center of the cover is a caricature of the prophet drawn by cartoonist Jean Cabut, known as Cabu, who lost his life in the massacre.
“All this, just for this,” says the title of the front page.
- ‘The right to blaspheme’ –
The editorial team wrote that the time had come to republish the caricatures and “essentials” at the opening of the trial.
“We have often been asked since January 2015 to print other cartoons of Mohammed,” he said.
“We have always refused to do it, not because it is forbidden – the law allows us – but because there was a need for a good reason to do it, a reason which makes sense and which brings something to the debate. . ”
The newspaper’s willingness to offend over a series of controversial issues has made it a champion of free speech for many in France, while others say it has too often crossed a line.
But the massacre united the country in pain, with the #JeSuisCharlie (I Am Charlie) slogan going viral.
“A thousand bravos,” Zineb El Rhazoui, a former journalist for the weekly, said on Twitter, calling the republication of the cartoons a victory “for the right to blasphemy”.
Former Charlie Hebdo director Philippe Val also hailed a “remarkable idea” to defend freedom of thought and expression in the face of “terror”.
In a nuanced response, the President of the French Council for Muslim Worship (CFCM), Mohammed Moussaoui, urged people to “ignore” the cartoons, while condemning the violence.
“The freedom of caricature is guaranteed for all, the freedom to like or not to like (caricatures) too. Nothing can justify violence, ”he told AFP.
The suspects, who will stand trial at 8:00 GMT on Wednesday, are accused of providing varying degrees of logistical support to the killers.
The trial had been delayed by several months, with most French courtrooms closed due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The Paris court will sit until November 10 and, in a first for a terrorism trial, the proceedings will be filmed for archival purposes in the public interest.
National counterterrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard rejected the idea that these were only “little helpers” who were on trial since the three gunmen were now dead.
“These are individuals who are involved in the logistics, the preparation of events, who have provided funding, operational equipment, weapons, a residence,” he told radio France on Monday. Info.
“All of this is essential to terrorist action. ”