"Threats to the newspaper have not gone away," says Riss


The director of the satirical newspaper, survivor of the attacks of January 7, 2015 testified at the bar of the special assize court of Paris.

"It's part of what we fight for". At the appeal trial of January 2015 attacksRiss, the director of Charlie Hebdo once again defended this Thursday the publication of the cartoons of Muhammad, which willstill» from the newspaper a «target". On January 7, 2015, it was around 11:35 a.m. when the brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi came out of the building where they killed a maintenance worker and decimated the editorial staff of the satirical weekly, shouting "We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad! We killed Charlie Hebdo!»

Riss, whose real name is Laurent Sourisseau, is one of the rare survivors of the massacre. In the same voice as during the first trial two years ago, the director of the publication of Charlie Hebdo tells how, pinned to the ground, he heard the shots "one by oneand waited for herturn to arrive". Hit in the shoulder by a Kalashnikov bullet, he was hospitalized and has been living under police protection since the attack.

At the helm of the special assize court in Paris, which is retrying two relatives of the Hyper Cacher killer Amedy Coulibaly, he explains that "insults and threatstowards the newspaper have not disappeared, that also persistsa climate of uninhibited hostility". “Charlie Hebdo is always a target, Charlie Hebdo will always be a target as long as we exist“, estimates the manager of the weekly, who had decided to republish in September 2020, the day of the opening of the trial at first instance, the Muhammad cartoons.

When the newspaper published them for the first time in 2006, with this front page which makes Muhammad say "It's hard to be loved by idiots“, no one in the editorial staff sees”something very disturbingin global angry reactions and lawsuits in France: justice will prove them right. No more when Charlie Hebdo suffered a fire in 2011, says Riss. "For us, it was not dangerous to make drawings on religion. It had been since the middle of the 19th century that we had not put designers in prison, so killing them even less“, underlines the director of the publication.

"The fight goes on"

"The problem is that from that moment on, the death mechanics will begin, the Islamophobia trial of Charlie Hebdo is going to start, you are said to be Islamophobic“, notes the lawyer of the satirical newspaper, Me Richard Malka. After "the massacre of January 7, 2015, you are held responsible for what happened“, he supports. "To Charlie Hebdo, we make drawings on what seems to us to be criticized in religion, not against the practice of religion. Even if it's very unpleasant to be accused of being responsible for your misfortune, it galvanizes mesays Riss.

This is why after the death of the Charb cartoonists, CabuHonored, Wolinsky and Tignous, columnists Bernard Maris and Elsa Cayat, corrector Mustapha Ourrad, Michel Renaud and the police officer assigned to the protection of Charb, Franck Brinsolaro, "we had to continueand may the newspaper survive. "The fight continues because it is for the benefit of all, not just for Charlie Hebdo,” adds Riss. All these deaths, the fact that the editorial staff is now working "in a bunker", them "accusations in islamophobia (which) do not stoplists Richard Malka. Do you regret publishing these cartoons?» «We don't regret it because it's part of what we fight for, what we believe in, the newspaper's identity. If we start to regret, we should regret doing the newspaper since 1992“replies Riss.

After his hearing, the president gives the floor to the two defendants. "These are things that are beyond uscommented Amar Ramdani. "It's inhuman what they did. Courage to him and others“says Ali Riza Polat. Respectively retried for terrorist criminal association and complicity in terrorist assassinations, they deny any link with the attacks, which killed a total of 17 people in January 2015. The hearings of civil parties continue until September 22. End of trial scheduled for October 21.



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