National Press Club Condemns Deadly Attack on Paris Magazine
January 7, 2015 | By Rachel Oswald | RachelOswald@cqrollcall.com
The National Press Club condemns in the strongest terms the Wednesday shooting attack on a Paris-based magazine that left at least 12 people dead.
Late in the morning local time, three masked assailants armed with machine guns entered the offices of the weekly satirical news publication, Charlie Hebdo, and indiscriminately opened fire in the lobby, killing 12 and seriously injuring several others, a French police spokesman told news media. The attackers then fled by car. Two of the victims were police officers, according to a senior French prosecutor.
Charlie Hebdo's offices were previously attacked and ruined by a firebomb in late 2011, shortly after the magazine published a joke issue around the Prophet Muhammad. The publication has been under police protection since then.
French President Francois Hollande has called the attack an act of terrorism. A large manhunt is under way to find the gunmen.
"Today's attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo is horrifying and profoundly disturbing for what it signals about rising global intolerance for a free press," said NPC President Myron Belkind. "We at the National Press Club extend our deepest condolences to the families of the journalists, cartoonists, and police officers killed or wounded in today's devastating attack. Our thoughts are with you."
In recent years, hundreds of journalists have been killed performing their duties with local reporters working in developing countries constituting the large majority of victims. Wednesday's attack on a news publication in a prominent Western city is a departure from this trend.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, there were 61 work-related deaths of journalists in 2014, 70 in 2013, and 74 in 2012.
The National Press Club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. Founded in 1908, it is located in Washington, D.C. Through its Press Freedom Committee, the National Press Club speaks out on behalf of press freedom and transparency worldwide.