Swiss have to wait for latest Charlie Hebdo

Punters in French-speaking Switzerland hoping to get a look on Wednesday at this week’s special edition of Charlie Hebdo magazine were in for a disappointment because no copies were available.

Swiss have to wait for latest Charlie Hebdo
Photo: AFP

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.  




Case dropped against second Swiss man over Vienna attack ‘links’

Swiss prosecutors said Thursday they had dropped the case against a second Swiss man over alleged links to a deadly shooting rampage in Vienna due to a lack of evidence.

Armed police officers stand guard before the arrival of Austrian Chancellor Kurz and President of the European Council to pay respects to the victims of the recent terrorist attack in Vienna, Austria on November 9,2020. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Armed police officers stand guard before the arrival of Austrian Chancellor Kurz and President of the European Council to pay respects to the victims of the recent terrorist attack in Vienna, Austria on November 9,2020. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG), which last month decided to drop the case against one suspect, told AFP it had issued a discontinuation order in the case against a second man.

On November 2, 2020, convicted Islamic State sympathiser Kujtim Fejzulai killed four people in Vienna before being shot dead by police.

It was the first major attack in Austria in decades and the first blamed on a jihadist.

Two Swiss citizens who knew Fejzulai were arrested in the northeastern Swiss town of Winterthur just a day after the attack on suspicion they may have helped in its preparation.

‘How was it possible?’ Austrians left asking painful questions after Vienna terror shootings

The two, who were aged 18 and 24 at the time, were known to the police and were the targets of prior criminal cases over terror-linked offences.

The OAG acknowledged Thursday that no evidence had emerged that either man had participated in any way or had prior knowledge of the attack.

The older of the two men was meanwhile hit with a penalty in a separate case with no links to the Vienna file, the OAG said.

The penalty order, seen by Swiss media, indicated that he had been found guilty of violating Switzerland’s law banning Al-Qaeda, Islamic State and related organisations and of being in possession of “depictions of violence”.

According to the ATS news agency, an IS group video was found on his phone depicting people being executed and decapitated.

He was handed a six-month suspended prison sentence, a fine of 1,000 Swiss francs ($1,100, 950 euros), and three years’ probation, ATS said.

ANALYSIS: Vienna terror attack was ‘only a matter of time’

In light of this penalty, he would not be compensated for the 176 days he spent behind bars after his arrest following the Vienna attack, it added.

The OAG said a separate case was still pending against the younger of the two men, also on suspicion he breached the Swiss law banning Al-Qaeda, IS and related organisations, and over “allegations of depictions of violence”. “The presumption of innocence applies,” it stressed.