‘Nothing to regret’ over Prophet Mohammed cartoons Charlie Hebdo chief tells court

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From France 24, via MSN

The current director of France’s Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly, the target of a massacre by Islamist gunmen in January 2015, on Wednesday said the magazine had “nothing to regret” for publishing cartoons of the prophet Mohammed that angered Muslims around the world.

Fourteen suspected accomplices are standing trial in Paris over the January 7-9, 2015 massacres at Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket that left a total of 17 dead and shocked the country.

“I don’t want to be dependent on the insane arbitrariness of fanatics,” Charlie Hebdo’s director Laurent Sourisseau, known as “Riss” and who was himself badly wounded in the shoulder in the attack, told the court.

“There is nothing to regret” in having published the cartoons, he added. “What I regret is to see how little people fight to defend freedom. If we don’t fight for our freedom, we live like a slave and we promote a deadly ideology.”

Sourisseau, 53, who succeeded Charb (Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier) as head of the publication, insisted that freedom is “not something that drops from the sky”.

The trial, which began on September 2, is expected to continue until November, reopening one of the post painful chapters in France’s history even if those on trial are only suspected accomplices of the attackers, who were killed by police in the aftermath of the massacre.

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