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January 7, 2015
AIPS strongly condemns massacre of French journalists

Ambulances and police officers gather in front of the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015 in Paris, France. Armed gunmen stormed the offices leaving twelve dead, including two police officers, according to French officials. (Photo by Getty Images)
by Evelyn Watta, AIPS Interim Secretary General

LAUSANNE, January 7, 2015 - The International Sports Press Association, AIPS, has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo terming it as a ‘black day for the freedom of the press and expression’.

Hooded gunmen stormed the magazines’ office in Paris killing at least 12 people, most journalists, including the Chief Editor Stephane Charbonnier. Several others were wounded in the attack that has not only stunned the media fraternity but also shocked the world as it happened right in the heart of Europe.

“This is a black day for media, the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press. Such violent acts on innocent colleagues is appalling. We strongly condemn this attack that has left a hole in our profession. Our sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those affected,” said AIPS President Gianni Merlo.

The attack, the third on the magazine since 2006 is believed to have been in retaliation for a satirical cartoon the magazine carried.

Merlo added that it was a gloomy start for the media barely recovered from a turbulent past year when several journalists were violently killed and tens others arrested while carrying out their duty.

“We take the attack not only as a means to harm the journalists but an attack on the freedom of information and press that we have worked so tirelessly for.”

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