2 journos who escaped Charlie Hebdo massacre to leave paper

  • AP, Paris
  • Updated: Sep 29, 2015 16:26 IST

Two journalists working at Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French newspaper whose staff was massacred in a January terror attack, are leaving its employment.

Artistic director Luz had said in May that he planned to end his career as a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist. In this week’s issue, he made known that next week would be his last.

Writer Patrick Pelloux said in an interview Saturday he was also leaving, “probably” in January.

Charlie Hebdo mocked religions, including Islam’s prophet Mohammed. Luz drew the cover cartoon — a weeping Mohammed, saying “All is forgiven” — in the issue following the Jan. 7 attack by Islamic extremists on the paper, which left 12 people dead. A second attack two days later on a Kosher grocery store in Paris killed five others. All three gunmen died in clashes with police.

“If I’ve decided to stop writing it’s because ... something has ended,” Pelloux told the student radio station Web7Radio. “You have to know how to turn the page one day.”

He said those who escaped the massacre are not real survivors because “a part of us ended with these attacks.”

The paper ignited another uproar recently with a cartoon depicting 3-year-old Syrian migrant Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed up on a Turkish beach, and a sign “So near the goal” — with McDonald’s arches and the Ronald McDonald clown.

Luz responded to the uproar in the paper’s latest edition, saying the cartoon by Riss aimed to mock “our liberal and hypocritical society,” which needed a photo of a dead boy to become aware of the migrants’ plight.

Sales of the irreverent paper rose dramatically after the January attack. But staff member Zineb el-Rhazoui told the iTele TV channel Saturday the latest departures are a sign of a “malaise” at Charlie Hebdo.

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