Liberation gives Charlie Hebdo facilities to bring out next edition

Emotional first editorial meeting held after attack ends with plan to print run of a million copies

For the staff of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which lost eight journalists including five cartoonists in this week's attack, the first editorial meeting since the killings was an emotional affair.

The meeting took place on Friday in the offices of Liberation, a left-leaning national daily newspaper.

Laurent Joffrin, Liberation's editor told the Guardian it was natural for the paper to offer space to the satirical magazine after the "big shock" of the attack.

The Liberation building, located close to the Charlie Hebdo premises, is now under armed police guard. Visitors are only allowed in with a specific invitation from a staff member and have to leave via the adjacent car park.


About 20 Charlie Hebdo journalists arrived there on Friday morning. Mr Joffrin said disruption to his own paper would be minimal: “They have their own room and all they need to do is to put in computers.”

Four other people lost their lives on Wednesday: a maintenance worker who was the first victim of the gunmen, a visitor from Clermont-Ferrand who had come to return some cartoons, and two policemen, one of them a Muslim who was shot in the street.

Joffrin’s deputy, Johan Hufnagel, said the Charlie Hebdo journalists could stay as long as they needed.

Those at the editorial conference included the cartoonist Luz, who escaped the carnage because he was late on Wednesday, reporter Laurent Leger, columnist Patrick Pelloux and the paper’s lawyer, Richard Malka.

Asked about the mood as he slipped outside the room, Malka, simply said: “We’re organising our work.”

The journalists are working on Wednesday’s “special survival” edition, which will be limited to eight pages instead of the usual 16. A million copies are to be printed, a huge increase on its usual 60,000 print run.

Among the visitors on Friday was the prime minister, Manuel Valls, accompanied by the culture minister, Fleur Pellerin, who has promised €1 million to the paper to guarantee its survival. Guardian Media Group has pledged £100,000, while more funding has come from the TV station Canal+ and Le Monde which has supplied the computers.

Liberation has had its own experience of a shooting attack: in November 2013 a gunman wounded a photographer in the paper’s reception area.

It emerged on Friday that Frederic Boisseau, the 42-year-old maintenance worker who was killed in the Charlie Hebdo reception on Wednesday, was on his first day at work in the building. The married father of two was employed by the Sodexo facilities management company which deployed him in different workplaces.

There has been some unhappiness in France that the outpouring of sympathy for the dead journalists defending freedom of expression has overshadowed the other victims. On Thursday, police unions promoted a hashtag #jesuispolicier in solidarity with the two policemen killed by the gunmen, in addition to the #jesuischarlie which has become the global commemorative emblem.

Boisseau’s brother Christophe told RTL radio on Friday: When I hear on the TV ‘we’re thinking of the victims’, people think of the well-known victims. But it wasn’t just them, there were 12. You only hear talk of five. Who were the others? Collateral damage?”

“They were there at the wrong time in the wrong place. But they should have talked about them all at the same time.”

Christophe Boisseau said he felt resentful against the state which had not been in touch with his family and yet had promised a state funeral for the victims. “I take it that’s going to be only for the five artists, not for the others? I’m angry because they’ve been forgotten.”

(Guardian Service)