The International Federation of Journalists and unions representing media workers condemned Wednesday’s attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that killed 12 people, including editor and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier and three other well-known cartoonists.
The IFJ’s members include The Newspaper Guild, a media union with more than 34,000 members in the United States, Canada and in Puerto Rico.
"We are saddened and angered by the murders at Charlie Hebdo in France,” said Bernie Lunzer, president of The Newspaper Guild, which is part of the Communications Workers of America. “Free speech is a critical value to free people and this slaughter is directly intended to inhibit such speech. We continue to decry impunity in the continued killing of journalists across the globe."
Journalists around the globe are expressing outrage about the killings, using social media and the Twitter hashtag #jesuischarlie [I am Charlie].
“We are profoundly saddened by this unprecedented attack on media which has sent shock waves across the global community of journalists,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “We first wish to present our sincere condolences to these colleagues’ families and friends. After the initial shock at this massive loss, the IFJ will work to muster all its resources, working with our affiliates in Europe and beyond, to ensure that this crime does not go unpunished and justice is done for the victims.”
Armed gunmen escaped after attacking the magazine’s offices in Paris Wednesday morning, police reported. Authorities said the magazine’s staff had been threatened in the past for its provocative content, including cartoons lampooning Christianity and Islam.
“Charlie Hebdo is a symbol of freedom of expression in France,” added IFJ’s Deputy General Secretary Anthony Bellanger. “An attack on an editorial office and killing journalists amounts to attacking the profession as a whole and also democracy. “
The IFJ was present in Paris for a demonstration organized at the Place de la République by its three main member unions: the SNJ (Syndicat National des Journalistes), the SNJ-CGT (Syndicat National des Journalistes de la Confédération Générale du Travail) and the CFDT (la Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail).