September 2, 2020, 04.07 PM

"All of this, just for that," the front-page headline says.

The right to blaspheme

The editorial team wrote that now was the right time to republish the cartoons and "essential" as the trial opens.

"We have often been asked since January 2015 to print other caricatures of Mohammed," it said.

"We have always refused to do so, not because it is prohibited — the law allows us to do so — but because there was a need for a good reason to do it, a reason which has meaning and which brings something to the debate."

The paper's willingness to cause offense over a range of controversial issues has made it a champion of free speech for many in France, while others argue it has crossed a line too often.

Read also: Indonesian Journalist in South Kalimantan Gets Jail Time for Divisive Article

But the massacre united the country in grief, with the slogan #JeSuisCharlie (I Am Charlie) going viral.

"A thousand bravos," Zineb El Rhazoui, a former journalist for the weekly, said on Twitter, calling the republication of the cartoons a victory "for the right to blasphemy".

The former director of Charlie Hebdo, Philippe Val, also hailed a "remarkable idea" for defending the freedom of thought and expression in the face of "terror".

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