Charlie Hebdo delays publication of upcoming issue, citing grief, fatigue

Michael Walsh
People hold posters reading "I am Charlie" during rally in Paris on January 11, 2015 in tribute to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks (AFP Photo/Patrick Kovarik)

French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo will reportedly delay publication of its next issue, citing the exhaustion and grief of its staff.

The staff members need time off after the fatal terrorist attack on their Paris offices three weeks ago and the subsequent international attention, according to spokeswomen for the publication.

Publicist Anne Hommel told the newspaper Le Parisien that Charlie Hebdo will not release its 1,179th edition on Feb. 4 or 11. In fact, she said, “no date is set.”

The writing team is not yet ready to create another issue, as it deals with grief, fatigue and overexposure to media attention, she added.

But Charlie Hebdo’s new editor-in-chief, Gérard Biard, has made it perfectly clear that the publication will continue to publish, she told the French daily.

Similarly, on Saturday, Appoline Thomasset of Majorelle PR & Events, which represents Charlie Hebdo, said the cartoonists and writers are not ready — they need some time, need to consult, need to settle in,according to NBC News.

Charlie Hebdo regularly lampoons religious and political figures, but violent Islamists took deep offense to their depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.

The publication’s first edition after the Jan. 7 massacre, which left 12 people dead, features a tearful Muhammad holding a sign reading, “Je Suis Charlie,” which became a slogan for defense of free speech and solidarity with the French in the aftermath of the tragedy.

This defiant “survivor’s issue” continued to offend many people across the Muslim world, who consider blasphemous any representation of Islam’s founder.

About 500 demonstrators gathered on the outskirts of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, to express their anger with the French newspaper on Saturday, Agence France Presse reported.

Police say at least 24 people were injured when the gathering turned violent. Protesters threw stones at the officers and the police responded by firing warning shots, according to authorities.