IFJ/EFJ's Statements at the Brussels' Solidarity Homage for Charlie Hebdo's Victims

You can find below the remarks made by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)'s General Secretary, Madame Beth Costa, and by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) General Secretary, Mister Ricardo Gutiérrez, this morning at the IFJ's headquarters. They payed tribute to the 12 murdered people during Charlie Hebdo French magazine's shooting yesterday in Paris.

The event took place this morning at 11H at the International Press Center (Residence Palace) in Brussels and was backed by at least 200 Brussels based journalists.

Beth Costa read the following text in English:

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear colleagues,

Good morning and thank you very much for coming to express your solidarity with our colleagues who were killed in yesterday’s appalling attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Twelve people lost their lives, including ten journalists and media workers.

Today, we stand here to remember them and show our solidarity with their families and colleagues. Their loss is ours, too.

Today, we are all Charlie in our thought but, as journalists, we very much share the reason for which they were targeted. Those bullets were also meant for all of us who stand up for press freedom.

The lasting memory of yesterday will no doubt be the shock horror we all felt at the sheer violence. But, I hope we can also look back at the incredible show of solidarity and defiance among journalists not to bow to intimidation. We are NOT AFRAID!

We should also take heart from the massive support and outpouring of sympathy and goodwill from ordinary members of the public whom we serve.

That is what Charlie Hedbo needs to overcome this devastating blow and get back on its feet. It is what we all need to stand up for journalism in Europe and elsewherein the world.

Afterwards, Ricardo Gutiérrez said in French that journalists should not be afraid by this attack and that the final goal is to avoid every hate spreading.

He also read a quote from Simone Bitton filmaker, saying that «Le meilleur hommage à leur rendre (aux victimes), c’est refuser la récupération et l’amalgame, se mobiliser pour protéger les musulmans qui rasent déjà les murs. Refuser tout ce qui ressemblerait de près ou de loin à l’union nationale avec les racistes qui dansent sur le sang. Et penser à eux très fort, à leur talent, aux éclats de rires qu’ils nous ont offerts depuis des décennies, même si on n’était pas d’accord depuis des années sur un tas de choses, et même si parfois j’avais envie de leur envoyer une baffe, ils étaient dans la parole, le dessin, le talent et l’impertinence, des artistes, bouillonnants de vie et avides de liberté».

After their speeches, the event ended up with a minute of silence in solidarity with the victims of the attack and it was backed by all the journalists who attended the homage.

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The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries