Today’s attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo in which gunmen murdered 12 people, including eight journalists, four of them cartoonists, has led to outrage all across the world. Reports are now coming in of vigils being held in several cities including London, the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie is trending worldwide, and messages of condemnation continue to pour in from journalists, world leaders and the public.
Among the most poignant memorials have been those crafted by cartoonists, including one cartoon depicting a gunman standing over his murdered victim saying “He drew first.”
There is little to add, except to salute our brave colleagues, led by editor and cartoonist Stephene Charbonnier (Charb) who is quoted as saying “I would rather die standing than live on my knees.”
The courage of the Charlie Hebdo journalists cannot be overstated, and we condemn their murderers and this despicable attack by those who would seek to silent independent and critical voices.
Below is a statement made by the Press Association of Jamaica.
January 7, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Press Association of Jamaica wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the people and government of France, on the occasion of today’s shocking attack on the staff of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The reports at this time indicate that 12 people have been killed including members of the press and two policemen, and several others wounded by gunmen who invaded the offices at the magazine earlier today. We deeply deplore the loss of life and the injuries suffered by all the victims.
The PAJ regards this as an attack upon democracy and freedom of the press, which must be of concern to all who support these important values anywhere in the world.
We stand with our colleagues in France as we condemn this violent attack and reiterate the importance of guarding democracy and protecting the press from intimidation.
Disclosure: I am the President of the PAJ.