A French magazine called Paris Match has printed photographs of Cherif and Said Kouachi, the jihadis who attacked Charlie Hebdo magazine in January over its “insults” to Islamic law, killing a dozen innocent people. The Kouachis were cornered by police in a printing factory near Charles de Gaulle Airport, and died in a gun battle.
Agence France-Presse interviewed Paris Match editor Olivier Royant, who defended the decision to publish the gruesome images: “We have to stop infantilizing the public. The French have a right to see this. This is not at all sensationalism. This was the final chapter of these two brothers’ actions. It was important to publish them.”
Royant declined to identify the source of the photographs, beyond saying they were not taken by either a professional journalist or the French authorities. This would suggest they were taken by a bystander at the Kouachis’ bloody final stand.
AFP describes the three images as showing the slain terrorists lying on the ground in pools of blood. Two of them were so grisly that, even with their stated determination not to “infantilize” their audience, Paris Match decided to print them in black and white. The third picture is a color shot of “Cherif Kouachi on the ground covered in blood and surrounded by forensic police.”