Charlie Hebdo to republish controversial Muhammed caricatures as trial opens

Paris, Sep 1 (efe-epa).- Charlie Hebdo will republish controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed to mark the beginning of a trial of alleged accomplices of a deadly Islamist attack on the French satirical magazine’s offices five years ago.

Two gunmen entered the publication’s offices in Paris on 7 January 2015 and opened fire on staff members inside and guests, killing 12 people and injuring 11 others. Two responding police officers were among the dead.

The magazine has published caricatures of Muhammed on several occasions since 2006, sparking legal cases with local Islamic organizations and making it a target for extremist Islamists.

Timed to coincide with the opening of the trial, the front page of Wednesday’s issue of Charlie Hebdo has grouped together several of the paper’s previous depictions of the religious figure.

The front page reads: “All of this, just for that.”

Charlie Hebdo’s majority owner, cartoonist Laurent Sourisseau, alias Riss, has penned an editorial saying: “We will never lie down. We will never give up.”

In 2006 Charlie Hebdo republished images of Muhammed that had appeared in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten the previous year along with a new caricature by cartoonist Jean Cabut, alias Cabu, who was killed in the 2015 attacks, which showed Muhammed crying with the words: “It’s so hard to be loved by jerks.”

It sparked protests across the Muslim world.

In 2011, Charlie Hebdo’s were fire-bombed after the publication of another front page depicting Muhammed saying: “100 lashes if you don’t die from laughter.”

Charlie Hebdo’s staff said they have been asked on many occasions since the 2015 attacks to publish more images of Muhammed.

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