France Remembers Charlie Hebdo Attack Five Years After Editorial Team Killed by Islamist Gunmen

A man reads, in a newsroom in Paris, the last issue of French satirical weekly Charlie Heb
Getty Images

PARIS (AP) – Charlie Hebdo’s editor hasn’t gone out by himself since Jan. 7, 2015. The widow of one of the satirical newspaper’s cartoonists can’t bear to pull down a note her husband stuck to the door that morning: “Have a good day, darling. See you in a bit.”

France on Tuesday commemorated the fifth anniversary of the extremist attack on Charlie Hebdo that killed nine of its editorial staff, a guard, a visitor to the building and a patrol officer in the street outside. The killers were a pair of French brothers, supporters of al-Qaida who claimed the attack was revenge for caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Two days later, an accomplice who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group seized hostages inside a kosher supermarket. In all, 17 people died before near-simultaneous police raids killed the three gunmen. The trial of a network of people accused in the plot begins this May.

Riss, the editor, who goes by his pen name, was wounded in the attack and lives to this day under constant police protection.

“I’m here. We’re here. Charlie Hebdo is still here. Still standing and just as determined,” he told France Info radio on Tuesday ahead of a somber memorial service at the site of the first attack. “We never stopped laughing because that’s part of life.”

Maryse Wolinski, whose husband Georges stuck a note to the door before he left for the editorial meeting that morning, keeps it up along with dozens of his drawings. She is still in mourning.

“It’s not because five years have passed that I’m not going to be angry anymore. I want to express that during the trial. Talk to these people, why they did that. I think it’ll be better after the trial. I hope so,” she told RMC television.

Charlie Hebdo’s latest issue is dedicated to freedom of expression, five years after the death of most of its editorial staff.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.