13 January 2015
IFLA releases statement regarding Charlie Hebdo attack
Today, IFLA released the following statement regarding the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo last week in Paris.
IFLA, like the rest of the world, is saddened and shocked by the recent events in France that began with acts of violence against journalists at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. As the impact of these events becomes clearer we are hearing voices from many perspectives around the globe which offer strong support for the right to freedom of expression.
IFLA and others concerned with freedom of access to information and freedom of expression have documented attacks against journalists across the world. 61 journalists lost their lives in 2014, of which 27 were murdered. Equally significantly 221 journalists were imprisoned—the second highest figure on record. These attacks against those who defend freedom of speech are wholeheartedly condemned by IFLA and they directly affect libraries and their essential role in supporting access to information and freedom of expression for all.
IFLA has found that in times of attack against our principles, a powerful approach is to provide a professional environment where there is mutual respect, and to encourage debate and discussion to consider the implications for libraries and information services. To this end IFLA, through its Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE), will continue to support discussion and debate on the impact on libraries of attacks on press freedom across the world, and will have a particular focus on this issue during the World Library and Information Congress in Cape Town, South Africa later this year.