The killing of twelve people, among them four of the best cartoonists of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris on Wednesday, by masked gunmen has sent shock waves across the world.

There has been an outpouring of grief from all corners of the world.

World leaders, including President John Mahama, have strongly condemned the shooting and shown solidarity with the slained and injured, among them journalists.

The gunmen wielding Kalashnikovs and rocket grenade launchers, forced their way into the offices of the magazine at about 11.30 am, opened fire on people in the lobby, made their way into the newsroom on the second floor, and fired at the journalists at an editorial meeting.

The motive behind the attack was not immediately known, however religious fundamentalism may have been the remote cause, as the attackers were reportedly heard shouting, “We have avenged the Prophet,” before escaping from the scene.

Charlie Hebdo is generally, a left-wing magazine and has had a history of attacks on its offices in the past, due to its religious stance.

The latest attack is the deadliest and most horrendous, thus drawing many to conclude that it is an attack on freedom of speech, and the media.

The Times is saddened that unarmed media workers have become the target of religious fanatics who attack ruthlessly, and kill indiscriminately.

It is mind-boggling that the perpetrators of these heinous killings do not care about the consequences of their actions, and kill in the name of religion.

In fact, their action has wider implications, beyond the realm of religion; it is actually a direct assault on liberalism, free speech and free press.

Any society which lacks any of these fundamental human rights, risks being a society of authoritarianism, in which the rule of law and freedom of speech are hardly respected and upheld.

The attack in Paris on Wednesday, was both despicable and unjustifiable, and must be condemned by all peace-loving people of the world.

We join to solidarise with our colleague journalists and the others who lost their lives, or were injured in the attack.

The Charlie Hebdo attack is indeed, despicable, and must be treated as a crime against humanity!


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