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‘Charlie Hebdo should not be dictated by violence’

Paris: The publishing director of the controversial satirical weekly newspaper “Charlie Hebdo” defended his publication’s right to free speech on Saturday, two years on from the terror attack on its Paris headquarters that left 12 people dead.

Laurent Sourisseau, known as Riss, said that the “Charlie Hebdo” team should not be dictated by violence, Efe news reported.

“We’re not going to give up on our job. We’re not going to give up our passion. We’re trying to prevent our lives from being distracted by this violence,” Riss said.

The cartoonist and author, who was injured in the shooting on January 7, 2015, replaced his renowned former colleague Charb, who was among the 12 victims of the attack, as publishing director of the newspaper.

He described his round-the-clock police protection as an “unfortunate necessity”.

A special edition of “Charlie Hebdo”, issued on Wednesday, dubbed the attack committed by the Kouachi brothers as a “political crime”.

Riss said those who were killed in the shooting were people committed to defending particular forms of expression and ideas, such as satirical illustrations, adding that the attackers wanted to snuff out those voices.

Since the attack, January 7 has become a symbolic date that has been difficult to forget, Riss said.

The official tributes to the Charlie Hebdo attack and for the Hyper Cacher supermarket attack that killed three people two days later were held on Thursday.

On Saturday, the Place de la Republique in Paris was once again due to become a place of remembrance in a ceremony organised by the French Association of Victims of Terrorism.