PARIS – Up to 3 million copies of Charlie Hebdo could hit newsstands this week, dwarfing its usual print run of 60,000, in response to soaring demand for the first edition of the satirical weekly since last week’s deadly attacks by Islamist militants.
Seventeen people, including journalists and police, were killed in three days of violence that began on Jan. 7 when militants burst into Charlie Hebdo’s office during a regular editorial meeting and shot dead five of its leading cartoonists.
Liberation newspaper, now temporarily housing Charlie Hebdo operations, revealed the front page of the Jan. 14 edition via Twitter late on Monday – an image of the Prophet Muhammad holding a sign saying “JE SUIS CHARLIE” (“I am Charlie”) below the headline “TOUT EST PARDONNE” (“All is forgiven”).
An initial batch of 1 million copies will be available on Wednesday and Thursday, said Michel Salion, a spokesman for MPL, which distributes Charlie Hebdo. A further 2 million could then be printed depending on demand.
The new edition of Charlie Hebdo, known for its satirical attacks on Islam and other religions, will include cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad and also making fun of politicians and other religions, its lawyer, Richard Malka, told France Info radio earlier.