Gerard Biard, editor-in-chief of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, on Sunday denounced the Western publications that have declined to reprint his paper’s controversial cartoons in the aftermath of the Jan. 7 mass shooting at Charlie Hebdo’s Paris office.
“This cartoon is not just a little figure. It’s a symbol. It’s the symbol of freedom of speech, of freedom of religion, of democracy and secularism,” Biard told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “When they refuse to publish this cartoon, when they blur it out, when they decline to publish it, they blur out democracy.”
Biard said he was in London at the time of the shooting, when two masked gunmen stormed the publication’s headquarters and killed 12 people, including editor Stéphane Charbonnier and several of the paper’s cartoonists and editorialists.