Dedicated 'Charlie Hebdo' Journalists Return To Work Two Days After The Attack

The resounding response to the Charlie Hebdo shooting — from the public, the press, and Charlie Hebdo staffers alike — has been that freedom of speech must not be hindered, whatever threat is posed. With that determination to keep the weekly newspaper going, 25 Charlie Hebdo journalists have returned to work on Friday morning.

The journalists are being hosted by the Libération, a French daily. The Libération also also hosted Charlie Hebdo journalists after the 2011 firebombing of their headquarters. That attack took place after Charlie Hebdo published an issue called “Charia Hebdo,” a play on the French word for Shariah, Islam’s legal code. After the bombing, Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon that depicted a Muslim man kissing a Charlie Hebdo journalist with the caption "love is greater than hate."

The paper’s response to the firebombing and the return of the journalists to work in the face of their recent tragedy speaks of the weekly’s refusal to be silenced. The journalists return to work on the paper’s next issue, a 8 page issue instead of the usual 16. Charlie Hebdo plans to print one million copies of this issue instead of the weekly's normal 60,000.

The journalists were greeted by some Libération bosses and led to work area set aside for them.

According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), one of the bosses, Pierre Fraidenraich made a statement about the daily's support for the journalists:

We are hosting them because they don't even have a pencil. Their computers and all their equipment have been sealed.
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images News/Getty Images

According to The New York Times, during a news conference in the Libération’s entrance all, Richard Malka, a Charlie Hebdo lawyer, thanked reporters and supporters for showing up in solidarity, but asked that the surviving journalists be left to work in peace:

We know your presence is your support. You need to let us work with privacy.

Later that day, the Charlie Hebdo journalists met with Prime Minister Manuel Valls and France’s Minister of Culture and Communication, Fleur Pellerin. Valls stated that he wanted to show solidarity and offer the journalists encouragement to continue working, The New York Times reported.

The Charlie Hebdo journalists returned to work as two hostage situations unfolded around Paris. One involved two remaining gunmen suspected to be involved with the shooting at Charlie Hebdo. Another gunman, claiming to be connected with the Charlie Hebdo suspects, held hostages at a kosher grocery supermarket in eastern Paris. In separate raids by French authorities, all three gunmen were killed.

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