#jesuisCharlie NUJ, IFJ and EFJ join French unions at Paris Charlie Hebdo protest
© Jess Hurd
Michelle Stanistreet with IFJ, EFJ and French unions - © Jess Hurd
Demonstrators in Paris - © Jess Hurd
11 January 2015
The NUJ, IFJ and EFJ marched with French unions -- Syndicat national des journalistes (SNJ), Syndicat national des journalistes-confédération générale du travail (SNJ-CGT) and CFDT -- at the head of the demontration, behind the families of the killed journalists.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
“Today was genuinely awe-inspiring. We're proud to have taken part on behalf of the NUJ in what will be remembered as a momentous day in history.
"The international journalist community was out in force, proudly standing shoulder to shoulder with our French colleagues who organised the demonstration of a lifetime.
“That three million people took to the streets, cheered on by Parisiens lining the boulevards and watching from their balconies, powerfully showed how the brutal killings this week have united people in defiance against those that choose violence as the way to get their message across.
"Today was also an opportunity to remember all those journalists around the world who have been killed in the courses of their work - 118 people in the past year alone and more than 1,000 in the last decade. We will not accept the targeting of journalists and the threats of intimidation and violence that are commonplace in some parts of the world. We marched today for global rights of freedom of expression, something that goes beyond borders."
Jim Boumelha, IFJ president said:
“The attack against Charlie Hebdo was not just an assault on the journalists killed. The assassins’ bullets were aimed squarely at free speech, one of the pillars of democracy. It was therefore an attack against democracy itself. And it is not just a problem for France alone, it is an issue for journalists all over the world.
“This outrage has highlighted once again our concerns over the safety of journalists, and I reiterate my call to all heads of states and governments who were present today in Paris to take up more vigorously the fight against impunity and bring the killers of journalists to justice. The IFJ will step up its campaign to bring impunity to an end and ensure that the perpetrators of such crimes are punished."