Certain Antwerp newsagents have been targeted with messages threatening them with reprisals if they choose to put the new issue of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on sale in their stores, said the Antwerp section of the Antwerp public prosecutor’s department. Three newsagents have already lodged a complaint against persons unknown. These threats follow similar ones made against some newsagents in Brussels on Wednesday. The police department from zone Ouest (Jette, Ganshoren, Berchem-Saine-Agathe, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Koekelberg) indicated on Wednesday that several Brussels newsagents had received threatening letters in their mailbox.
According to Antwerp public prosecutor’s department the anonymous messages sent to newsagents in the city of talk about reprisals such as fires or explosions if they choose to put Charlie Hebdo on sale. The public prosecutor’s department has said it is taking these threats very seriously. A spokesman has said “We intend to use all necessary means to find out who sent these threats and, if we can prove guilt, we will prosecute.”
The new issue of Charlie Hebdo went on sale in Belgium this Thursday. It’s the first issue since last Wednesday’s attack on the weekly’s editing staff, which has killed 12 people including 5 cartoonists.