The photo is worthy of the name of the magazine whose cover it adorns: “Shock” or “Choc” in French. It shows a man whose head has been wrapped in duct tape. His face is completely covered except for a small space that has been left for his nose. The nose is bloodied. The man’s hands are bound in front of him, likewise with tape. A key chain has been hung on his fingers: perhaps to help identify him or perhaps as a subtle threat to his family or friends. The man is seated in front of an orange and purple drape, evidently to hide his surroundings. A copy of the Parisian daily Le Parisien has been propped up on his arms in front of his chest, thus indicating the date. Emerging from off frame, a gloved-hand holds a gun pressed against the man’s temple. The man in the photo is Ilan Halimi: the 23-year-old French Jew who was kidnapped, tormented, and killed by a self-styled “gang of barbarians” in the Parisian banlieue in early 2006.
The revelation that the photo has already been shown raises new questions about the decision of a Parisian court to prohibit further sale of the Choc issue. The publisher of Choc will be fined €200 for each issue of Choc that remained on the newsstands after 2 pm today (Friday).