Obama, Harper join in global expression of horror at attack on Charlie Hebdo offices - InfoNews

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Obama, Harper join in global expression of horror at attack on Charlie Hebdo offices

People hug each other outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's office, in Paris, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. Masked gunmen stormed the offices of a French satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing at least 11 people before escaping, police and a witness said. The weekly has previously drawn condemnation from Muslims. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
January 07, 2015 - 10:06 AM

World leaders, journalists' groups and others around the world have expressed horror at the deadly attack Wednesday by gunmen on the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Here are some of their reactions:

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"I don't understand how people can attack a newspaper with heavy weapons. A newspaper is not a weapon of war." — Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Gerard Biard to France Inter radio.

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"This is an act of exceptional barbarism." — French President Francois Hollande.

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"France is America's oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world. Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended. France, and the great city of Paris, where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers." — President Barack Obama.

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"This barbaric act, along with recent attacks in Sydney, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and Ottawa, is a grim reminder that no country is immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world. Canada and its allies will not be intimidated and will continue to stand firmly together against terrorists who would threaten the peace, freedom and democracy our countries so dearly value. Canadians stand with France on this dark day." — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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"We condemn ... this hateful, criminal act. ... While the terrorists are intensifying their acts to exacerbate the confrontation inside our country, both Muslim and Christians have to intensify their actions to give more strength to this dialogue, to make a united front against extremism." — Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the Union of French mosques.

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"We decisively condemn this cynical crime. We reaffirm our readiness to continue active co-operation in combating the threat of terrorism." — Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a telegram of condolence to Hollande.

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"This horrific attack was meant to divide. We must not fall into that trap. This is a moment for solidarity around the world." — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

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"This is a brazen assault on free expression in the heart of Europe." — Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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"This will create fear among people on a whole different level than we're used to. Charlie Hebdo was a small oasis. Not many dared do what they did."— Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who lives under police protection after drawing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

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"I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. 'Respect for religion' has become a code phrase meaning 'fear of religion.' Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect." — Salman Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after his novel "The Satanic Verses" drew a death edict from Iran's religious authorities.

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"This abhorrent act is not just an attack on the life of French citizens and the internal security of France. It also represents an attack on freedom of opinion and of the press, a core element of our free and democratic culture." — German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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"This House and this country stand united with the French people in our opposition to all forms of terrorism and we stand squarely for free speech and democracy. These people will never be able to take us off those values." — British Prime Minister David Cameron in the House of Commons.

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"Egypt stands by France in confronting terrorism, an international phenomenon that targets the world's security and stability and which requires co-ordinated international efforts to eradicate." — Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

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"This is a dark day for freedom of expression and a vibrant press culture. But above all, it is an appalling human tragedy." — Stephan Oberreit, director of Amnesty International France.

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"I offer my condolences to the families and friends of those killed — the cartoonists, journalists and those who were trying to protect them. They paid a very high price for exercising their comic liberty. Very little seems funny today." — Ian Hislop, editor of British satirical newspaper Private Eye.

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"Charlie Hebdo was among the magazines that showed the most solidarity with Jyllands-Posten when the Muhammad crisis was at its peak. We haven't forgotten that. Here at Jyllands-Posten we feel strongly for our colleagues in Paris." — Editorial in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which faced numerous threats and foiled attacks after it published 12 caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005.

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"All NATO allies stand together in the fight against terrorism. Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations can never be tolerated or justified." — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

News from © The Associated Press, 2015
The Associated Press

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