The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today joined its French affiliates – SNJ, SNJ-CGT and CFDT – in condemning the shooting that has taken place today at the offices of the French satiric magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, in which at least five journalists were killed.

«We are profoundly saddened by this unprecedented attack on media which has sent shock waves across the global community of journalists,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “We first wish to present our sincere condolences to these colleagues’ families and friends. After the initial shock at this massive loss, the IFJ will work to muster all its resources, working with our affiliates in Europe and beyond, to ensure that this crime does not go unpunished and justice is done for the victims.”

According to the latest media reports, Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier), Cabu (Jean Cabut), Wolinski (Georges Wolinski), Tignous (Bernard Verlhac) and journalist Bernard Maris are among the twelve people who have lost their lives in the attack by at least two armed hooded gunmen around 11.30am this morning.

«Charlie Hebdo is a symbol of freedom of expression in France, » added IFJ’s Deputy General Secretary Anthony Bellanger. «An attack on an editorial office and killing journalists amounts to attacking the profession as a whole and also democracy. »

The IFJ was present in Paris today at 17:00 hr to lead a demonstration organised at the Place de la République by its three main member unions: the SNJ (Syndicat National des Journalistes), the SNJ-CGT (Syndicat National des Journalistes de la Confédération Générale du Travail) and the CFDT (la Union Syndicale des Journalistes).