EFJ Condemns Violent Attack against French Satirical Weekly

The European Federation

of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the violent and criminal

attack against

the satirical weekly CharlieHebdo after its offices

were burned down last night in a suspected arsonist attack.

"Any violent and criminal attack against

media and journalists is a direct attack on freedom of the press. We strongly condemn this act, "said

EFJ

Chair Arne König. "There are laws and courts for those who need them. Any other method is dangerous and unacceptable because it creates a climate of fear and self-censorship within the profession."

The offices of

the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo were almost completely as destroyed on Wednesday morning by a criminal fire which

was caused by a "molotov cocktail", according to police sources. The attack happened on the day

the magazine published a special edition called "Sharia Weekly" to "celebrate the

victory" of the Islamist party Ennahda in Tunisia. Its cover features a cartoon

of the Prophet Mohammed who was also named the "editor-in- chief" for the

issue.

The EFJ recalls the French long

tradition of tolerance for free speech, citing famous words attributed to Voltaire that "Even if I do not agree with what you say, I will fight for your right to say it," and also refers to the case-law of the European Court of human Rights which consistently

held that

"the journalistic

freedom also covers possible recourse to a degree of exaggeration or even provocation."

The EFJ calls on the competent French

authorities to quickly find the culprits of this attack and bring them to justice.

EFJ members

in France are the Syndicat national des journalistes (SNJ), the Syndicat

national des journalistes SNJ-CGT and the USJ-CFDT.

For

more information, please contact EFJ on   + 32

2 235 22 00      
The EFJ represents more than 260.000 members in over 30 countries