Charlie Hebdo will print 3 million copies of a special issue of the satirical magazine, depicting the Prophet Muhammad on the cover, a week after an attack at its headquarters left a third of its journalists dead.
Publishers of the weekly magazine will put the copies on newsstands worldwide in 16 languages on Jan. 14. The issue will feature a cartoon of Muhammad, crying, on a green background, holding a board saying “Je suis Charlie” or “I am Charlie.” Above his image is written “All is Forgiven.”
Millions of people in France and across the world rallied in marches in the past week to show support for the Charlie Hebdo victims. A Jan. 7 attack at the magazine left 12 people dead. An associated gunman killed a policewoman and four shoppers in a kosher food store in separate attacks in the following two days. The three gunmen were killed by the police on Jan. 9.
The killings by self-proclaimed jihadists are the deadliest attacks in France in half a century. France has been on the highest terrorist alert since the first attack. More than 15,000 special forces are being deployed to protect sensitive sites across the country, including Jewish schools, tourist landmarks and Charlie Hebdo’s new headquarters in Paris.
This week’s magazine will have six or eight pages instead of the usual 16.
“This won’t be a tribute issue of some sort,” Richard Malka, Charlie Hebdo’s lawyer and spokesman, told France Info radio Monday. “We will be faithful to the spirit of the newspaper: making people laugh.”
The magazine’s circulation has dropped over the years. While issues with covers depicting Muhammad sold about 100,000 copies, the magazine often printed 60,000 copies and sales sometimes didn’t exceed 30,000.
After the attack, French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin pledged 1 million euros ($1.2 million) of state money to help the publication. Google Inc. promised to give 250,000 euros, U.K. daily The Guardian 125,000 euros. The French press association opened a bank account which is attracting donations from the public.
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