Editor’s note: This article first appeared in today’s edition of the Daily Mail
Private Eye editor Ian Hislop said the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting had ‘paid a very high price for exercising their comic liberty’.
The satirical magazine targeted by three masked gunmen is widely seen as France’s answer to Private Eye and prides itself on a mixture of tongue-in-cheek reporting and investigative journalism.
At least 12 people died in the attack, believed to include editorial staff members Jean Cabu, Stephane ‘Charb’ Charbonnier, Bernard ‘Tignous’ Verlhac and Bernard Maris.
Gunmen brandishing Kalashnikovs burst into the Charlie Hebdo headquarters, opening fire on staff after seeking out journalists by name.
Those executed included four of the most famous cartoonists in France – men who had regularly satirised Islam and the Prophet Mohammed – including the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Stephane Charbonnier.
In a statement, journalist and writer Mr Hislop said: ‘I am appalled and shocked by this horrific attack – a murderous attack on free speech in the heart of Europe.
‘I offer my condolences to the families and friends of those killed – the cartoonists, journalists and those who were trying to protect them.
‘They paid a very high price for exercising their comic liberty.’