Asian Newsagent Defiantly Sells Copies of Charlie Hebdo ‘Survivors’ Issue’

Charlie Hebdo 1/14
Charlie Hebdo/Liberation

A newsagent in a sleepy village in Gloucestershire, UK has already sold out of copies of Charlie Hebdo, despite the the satirical magazine not yet officially being on sale.

Mrs Aghera, who owns Forge newsagents in Charlton Kinghas, says she has been inundated by people who want to reserve a copy of the publication, dubbed the ‘survivors’ issue’ after the horrific attacks in Paris last week.

The newsagent says she already stocks copies of another French magazine, and thought the readers of that might wish to buy a copy of the now world-famous Charlie Hebdo, “especially as it’s coming out after everything that’s happened” she told the Gloucestershire Echo.

“I asked my supplier if he could get me some and he said it was possible. The order will be a one-off, though, and I think people might want it as a souvenir.”

Mrs Aghera, who said she watched the events unfold last week with incredulity, said that because her shop is near several schools, she ordered the magazine “in case the teachers wanted to buy a copy to show their pupils.”

The 54-year-old initially placed an order with her distributors for 20 copies of the magazine, before raising it to 200 after she was overwhelmed with interest from people up and down the country wanting to claim a copy which has another cartoon of Mohammed on the front cover in defiance of the murders.

She placed a sign in the window of her shop, saying: ‘One off Charlie Hebdo Mag – On sale Friday 16th Jan’ but has now taken it down and says she has even stopped answering the phone.

“I can’t take any more orders. I can’t pick up the phone because I don’t like disappointing people.”

Mrs Aghera, an Asian who moved from Kenya to the UK in the 1970s, said she “can’t believe somebody would do this over some cartoons.”

“Private Eye is a satirical magazine. It’s hilarious. Everybody takes the mickey out of everybody,” she added.

Magazine distributor Comag has secured up to 1,000 copies of the “survivors’ issue” of Charlie Hebdo and is asking retailers to put their orders in.

The latest issue has a one million copy print run, but even so people are clamouring to find an available edition, with some copies on eBay already over £500 in bids.

Comag said is it importing “a very limited amount of copies” but even in France trying to find the magazine is no mean feat with demand far outstripping supply.

The front page cartoon has been drawn by Renald ‘Luz’ Luzier who survived the shootings because he was late for work that day and features a drawing of a tearful Mohammed holding a sign saying ‘Je suis Charlie’ and a headline proclaiming ‘All is forgiven’.