Charlie Hebdo’s UK distribution partners play-down security risk
The UK distribution partners for the special commemorative edition of Charlie Hebdo have denied they will become targets for fanatics by carrying the controversial title.
As many as 1,000 issues of the magazine will be shipped to Britain to meet exceptional demand for the first issue since the title’s staff were .
The issue is expected to contain the most controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
A lawyer for the Charlie Hebdo magazine said that the upcoming edition would “obviously” contain cartoons of the Prophet as well as mocking other political and religious leaders.
“We will not give up, it is the spirit of ‘Je suis Charlie, which is to say is is also our right to blaspheme,” said the magazine’s solicitor Richard Malka, speaking to radio station France Info.The headquarters of the German tabloid, the Hamburger Morgenpost, were firebombed after the paper decided to reprint the most controversial of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon back catalogue.
Speaking about the security arrangements for the distribution of the upcoming edition, a spokesman for one of the firms involved said he was not aware of any specific threats.
“I think most of the papers have covered it and some have used the cartoons and some haven’t but I don’t think there’s necessarily a security threat, touch wood,” said a spokesman for Comag, a niche magazine distributor.
“It hasn’t dissuaded anyone from publishing it or distributing it.”
“At the moment it’s only about 200 copies with a sort of London focus. Possibly a thousand maximum – we don’t necessarily know yet,” said the spokesman.
“They’ll be distributed within the normal channels. We don’t usually bring it over, this is a one-off, the survivors’ issue, that they’ve contacted us because there’s not really a call for. We don’t usually distribute the normal weekly one.”
“I think they’ll sell well, just as a collectors’ piece. And to show solidarity.”
The edition will be priced at £3.50 in the UK.
One of Britain’s largest newspaper distributors, Menzies, will also be responsible for getting the commemorative issue to the nation’s newsstands.
“I can confirm that Menzies Distribution will handle supplies of the upcoming Charlie Hebdo special edition,” said the firm’s head of communications Dave Shedden.
“We don’t expect to face particular (security) issues, but we will take whatever precautions our security team believe are sensible to ensure the safety of our employees.”
The edition which is expected to be released on January 14 will see 1 million copies sent to newsagents across France and the rest of the world.