Corner Press release

Je suis Charlie! 08 January 2015

The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia expresses deep concern regarding yesterday's events that took place in France, where during the attacks in Paris ten journalists and two police officers were brutally murdered. This act of violence represent an attack against freedom of expression and art, as well as against critical thinking. The consequences of such attacks against media are far-reaching, because the disruption of their safety and freedom of transmitting information is a way to prevent free expression in any form, either through word or picture. There is no justification for this kind of atrocious violence, as much as there is no adequate price to pay for human life and freedom. 

We want to support the solidarity and unity exhibited by the citizens, who gathered yesterday on a square in Paris and communicated the message: “We Are Not Afraid,” because the primary goal of this attack is to create chaos, instability and to undermine the sense of security and the freedom of expressing critical thoughts. However, as it was pointed out by the citizens, freedom of expression, as well as the operation of the magazine and the journalists cannot and must not be stopped, inasmuch as free thought, free ideas and art as a form of expression cannot and must not be stopped. 

Of utmost importance in this moments is to bring to mind the values of benevolence and humanity, as well as the values which support protection of freedom of expression and freedom of media all over the world. Taking human life is an act which cannot have any kind of justification. Religious belief or conviction cannot and must not be defended by violence, nor by preventing free flow of critical thought in the public sphere, including humor and satire which may be part of journalist's work. Opposition of opinions on certain matters is not to be resolved by taking lives. 

Such methods are bound to have only negative effects on the society in total, and especially on the members of the Muslim community, who may suffer the consequences of this event and become targets of hatred. Due to these reasons, we appeal this act of violence to be treated as an act of particular individuals, and not as an act committed by a collective professing certain religion. 

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