Paris | Copies of the latest edition of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which sold out within hours across France today, are being offered on eBay for thousands of euros, prompting a media watchdog to blast sellers for indecent profiteering. The online selling and auction site had one vendor listing the new Charlie Hebdo issues at 15,000 euros (USD 17,680) for immediate purchase, compared to the cover price of just three euros.
It was not known how serious the offers were, or if the vendors actually possessed the copies. eBay did not immediately respond to requests for comment. But the Paris-based media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres) expressed anger at the apparent opportunism. What is happening on eBay… is absolutely indecent, said its director, Christophe Deloire. People abroad have tried to trademark the phrase ‘je suis Charlie’. There is a sort of parallel trade being organised that is totally reprehensible, lamentable, indecent.
The first 700,000 copies of what has been dubbed the survivors’ edition of Charlie Hebdo after last week’s deadly attacks sold out across France in just a couple of hours early today. The assault by Islamist gunmen on Charlie Hebdo’s Paris office a week ago that killed 12 people has triggered a global outpouring of public support for the irreverent title.
A print run initially set for three million has been increased to five million to meet the huge demand. Copies were also to be put on sale in other countries around the world later this week.
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