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The Debate

Are we still Charlie? Trial opens over January 2015 attacks

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE © FRANCE 24
By: François PICARD Follow | Charles WENTE | Juliette LAURAIN
44 min

It's the first day of what's been billed as a trial for the record: those accused in the January 2015 attacks, which started with a bloodbath at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, while a separate attacker targeted a policewoman and a kosher supermarket. They ended with shootouts that killed the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly and world leaders converging on Paris for a massive "Je suis Charlie" march. So who are the 14 now on trial: minor players or major accomplices? Could the same overlapping networks that jumped between al Qaeda and the IS group back in 2015 strike today?

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Ahead of the trial, Charlie Hebdo defiantly repeated what made it a target, publishing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. In France, secularism is fiercely guarded and the right to poke fun at religion is sacrosanct. How heated an issue is it today? With all that's happened since – the November 2015 Paris attacks, the war in Syria and Iraq – how big is the battle today between the right to free speech and respect of others' beliefs?

Produced by Charles Wente, Juliette Laurain and Ariana Mozafari.

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