Charlie Hebdo increases print run to 7 million to keep up with international demand

Michael Walsh
A woman poses with her copy of Charlie Hebdo as it goes on sale in London January 16, 2015. The French satirical newspaper's first edition since an attack by Islamist gunmen, featuring a cartoon of a tearful Prophet Mohammad holding a "Je suis Charlie" sign under the words "All is forgiven" as its cover, has been praised as art by defenders but is seen by critics as a new provocation. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN - Tags: MEDIA CRIME LAW RELIGION)

Charlie Hebdo announced Saturday that it will increase its print run of the first post-attack edition once more, after swift sellouts internationally.

The French satirical newspaper confirmed that it will increase the total number of the latest edition, which was translated into 16 languages, from 5 million to 7 million copies, Agence France Presse reported.

That's far more than its typical print run of 30,000.

Many would-be buyers had never read — or even heard of — Charlie Hebdo before terrorists targeted its Paris offices earlier this month.

But on Friday morning, hundreds of Montrealers lined up to buy the satirical newspaper. And with only 1,500 copies of the publication reportedly arriving in Canada, few would get the chance to read the new one.

Roughly 100 customers were outside Maison de la Presse Internationale by 5 a.m. — two hours before it opened — even though the French bookstore catering to the Francophone community only received 25, reported CTV News.

Hundreds of people also lined up in the streets of London for the English-language translation.

A film student, 22-year-old Moritz Riewoldt, arrived outside the French Bookshop in South Kensington shortly after midnight Friday to be the first person in a line of approximately 300, the London Evening Standard reported.

“I want to show my solidarity. I was brought up in Germany and I know lack of freedom of speech is the first step to dictatorship,” she told the English paper. “I know my history. We must protect freedom of speech. It’s so important. That’s why I am here.”

British men and women took to social media to hold up their newly purchased copies proudly, in support of free expression, just as their Parisian counterparts had done two days earlier when it went on sale in France.

But not everyone was thrilled with Charlie Hebdo’s new cover, which depicts a tearful Prophet Muhammad holding a sign saying, “Je Suis Charlie [I Am Charlie],” beneath a headline that reads, “Tout est pardonné [All is Forgiven].”

Many people throughout the Muslim world protested the latest cover because they think drawings of Muhammad are blasphemous.

A rally outside the French consulate in the Pakistani city of Karachi on Friday turned violent while demonstrators in the cities of Peshawar and Multan burned French flags, according to AFP. In Niger, five people died in protests over the cartoons.

Also Friday, British Prime Minister David Cameron recorded a short video recapping the important issues, particularly fighting terrorism, he discussed with U.S. President Barack Obama on a trip to Washington.

“We had some important discussions about how we combat the poisonous narrative of Islamic extremism that is turning too many young minds toward this,” he said.

On January 11, just days after a series of attacks in and around Paris, millions of people from throughout France marched in the streets of their capital to stand against terrorism and for freedom of speech.

During the event, a man holding an Israeli flag and a man holding a Palestinian flag embraced one another as a crowd chanted, “Un bisou, un bisou [a kiss, a kiss],” before erupting into applause.

A video of the incident, posted to Facebook the following day, has steadily garnered more views as the week progressed.

One viewer commented, “We are not that different. We all want love and understanding. Let's put love ahead of anger and hatred.”