The French magazine Charlie Hebdo has again come under fire, this time for a controversial cover mocking the discovery of plane wreckage on Reunion Island, now confirmed to have been from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The publication's Paris headquarters was the site of a deadly attack earlier this year by extremists who took issue with the magazine's satirical depictions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
This week's cover shows a pair of hands groping what appear at first glance to be coconuts, but are actually breasts. Above the image is written what translates as: "We've found a bit of the pilot and the air hostess," as two onlookers celebrate in the background, Express reported.
The cover has drawn criticism on Twitter from individuals who felt the images were in bad taste. "Freedom of speech? Distasteful Charlie Hebdo cover mocking the MH370 wreckage," one individual on Twitter wrote, according to the Mirror. Another user tweeted: "New Charlie Hebdo cover mocking the MH370 wreckage is distasteful. Attention-seekers. No brainer. No heart."
— Shawal Ras (@shawalras) August 5, 2015
The cover is the latest in a series of cartoons from the publication over the past year to have sparked outrage, including depictions of the prophet Muhammad, Nigerian terror victims and Pope Francis. Defenders of the magazine have said the images are protected by free speech and the satirical messages have been lost on critics.
The missing airliner went off-route March 8, 2014, and prompted a massive search. There were reports of debris sightings immediately after the plane went missing, but the wreckage found on Reunion Island have turned out to be the first authentic traces of the plane. Families of passengers on board the airliner have been fiercely critical of Malaysia Airlines and Malaysian government officials, who they say have failed to adequately inform them on the status of the investigation over the last year.
Charlie Hebdo was attacked by Islamic extremists in January. They 12 people in response to cartoons mocking the prophet Muhammad. The shooting prompted a mass show of support among world leaders in favor of free speech and against violent extremism.