PES President condemns brutal attack at French magazine office



In reaction to the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine today, killing at least 12 people, PES President Sergei Stanishev stated: “Today is a dark day for freedom of the press. This dreadful attack is a terrible blow to democracy, and our thoughts are with the victims, their families and all the others caught up in this tragic attack. The perpetrators of these cowardly murders must be caught and brought before justice without delay”.

Mr. Stanishev offered his full support and sympathy to the French people, and to all journalists underlining that; “freedom of speech and press are the foundation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. These freedoms define our pluralistic society, a peaceful coexistence between communities where there is no place for extremism or fanatism. Today, more than ever, we must make clear that we will not allow our democracy to be dictated by terrorist acts”.

Charlie Hebdo was also the target of a firebomb attack in 2011, after the magazine published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

President François Hollande called for unity, underlining that; "An act of exceptional barbarism has just been committed here in Paris against a newspaper, meaning against the expression of liberty". French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that"France is heart-stricken, every French citizen is horrified". PES Vicepresident Jean-Christophe Cambadélis added: "Freedom, as exercised by Charlie Hebdo, is a key player and ambassador. The Socialist Party calls on citizens to stand together for the values of the Republic".

The Member parties of the Arab Social Democratic Forum also condemned the attack, declaring that; "freedom of speech and freedom of press are the essence of democracy, we should not allow terrorism to dictate it. Pluralism should always be respected".