PARIS (AFP) - French President Francois Hollande proclaimed on Wednesday that “Charlie Hebdo is alive and will live on”, after the satirical weekly published its first edition since Islamist gunmen attacked its Paris offices and killed 12 people.
“You can murder men and women but you can never kill their ideas,” Mr Hollande said as the new edition, which controversially features a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on its cover, sold out across the country.
The weekly had long been threatened by a loss of readership but “today it is reborn", he added It will have a print run of five million issues this week, dwarfing the pre-attack circulation of around 60,000.
“It’s the culture that the terrorists want to put an end to because it is insolent, because it is disrespectful, because it is free, it’s human,” Mr Hollande said.
Those qualities are “the total opposite” of the fundamentalism and fanaticism of last week’s attackers, he added.
A total of 17 people were gunned down in three days of militant violence in and around Paris last week.