Contrary to what had been promised, copies of the French satirical weekly were not delivered due to heavy demand in France following last week’s attack by a pair of Muslim terrorists in Paris that killed ten of the publication’s staff, including well-known cartoonists.
A shipment of 5,000 copies was to be delivered for western Switzerland but this was not possible due to the heavy demand, Alain Meynier, a spokesman for distributor Naville Press, told broadcaster RTS.
Meynier said that he hoped a shipment would be possible for Wednesday evening so that the magazine would be available from newsstands on Thursday morning.
He said the delay was due to technical problems with the printing of the magazine.
As a result only 176,000 copies were produced instead of the three million planned.
Meynier added that the Paris region was given highest priority for distribution.
Despite having a relatively small circulation before last week’s terrorist attack, Charlie Hebdo is well-known in French-speaking Switzerland.
And even while the magazine remains unavailable in Switzerland, its front cover, has been widely reported on.
It features a front page cartoon of Mohammed carrying a “Je suis Charlie” sign below the words “Tout est pardonné” (everything is forgiven).
The cover has already sparked a backlash from some Muslims.
“I condemn the attacks that hit innocent people,” said Hani Ramadan, chairman of the Islamic Centre of Geneva, is quoted as saying by 20 Minutes newspaper.
“But freedom of expression has limits,” Ramadan said.
“One should have respect for someone who is more than a father for all our community: our prophet.”
But Hafid Ouardiri, director of the Geneva-based Inter-Knowing Foundation (Fondation de l’entre-connaissance), told 20 Minutes he liked the cover and the message of “forgiveness” that it transmits.
“We should forgive, but not forget, to prevent again fanatics from attacking freedom in the name of a religion,” said Ouardiri, who organization aims to promote understanding between Islamic culture and the rest of the world.