Call for action to stop targeting of journalists as NUJ joins Paris Charlie Hebdo march

Journalists from around the world and the UK joined a Paris unity march yesterday held in honour of their murdered colleagues and other victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) marched alongside French unions at the head of the rally behind the families of the murdered journalists.

Michelle Stanistreet (pictured above, centre), NUJ general secretary, said: "The international journalist community was out in force, proudly standing shoulder to shoulder with our French colleagues who organised the demonstration of a lifetime.”

She also called for the remembrance of other journalists around the world killed in the course of their work.

“Today was also an opportunity to remember all those journalists around the world who have been killed in the courses [sic] 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."

An NUJ flag was attached to the outside of the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris prior to the march.

Organisers have estimated that up to 1.6m people have taken to the streets of Paris to show their support.

Jim Bouhemlha, IFJ president, called for heads of states to take action over the safety of journalists.

He said: “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 mood of solidarity echoed British national press coverage of the massacre, with papers publishing their own cartoons and adopting the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan.

Members of the NUJ in the UK and Europe took part in a minute’s silence on Thursday. British newsrooms also observed a minute’s silence at 11am the day after the attacks.

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