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tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 7, 2015 2:00pm-2:31pm EST

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. >> mask gunmen killed 12 people at a french magazine. among the dead are the editor and three other cartoonists. we take you straight to paris where french president hollande is speaking. >> they were remarkable by their influence, by their influence
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by their independence as well. i want to say this message that they had will be our message forever, and we'll continue to defend it, this cowardly attack killed two policemen. one even who was tasked with protecting the editor of this magazine who had been threatened by the forces of darkness he himself defended freedom of expression. i want to acknowledge them and their family, those that have been hurt, the relatives all those who have been destroyed massacred behind this cowardly
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attack. they are our heroes today. this is why tomorrow there will be a national day of mourning. i have decreed it as midday there will be a moment of silence. all public services, i invite the whole population of france willower the flags for three days. it is the whole of the french republic the republic is about the freedom of expression, culture, creation, plurality democracy. that's what they tried to attack the idea of peace and justice, which france brings to the international scene and this message of tolerance that we will defend, that our soldiers embody even as they
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fight terrorism. we appreciate the paternity of the world and we all have to step up to the task, and we have to reply to the power to this crime. we have to do everything to make sure that they're arrested, punished in the best way. we must do everything to find them. as you heard from the public prosecutor, the government has put in place its plan for terrorist attacks so that we deal with this threat with high level security and a plan has been implemented.
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our strongest weapon is unity. nothing can divide us in this horror. nothing should separate us and nothing should oppose us. tomorrow i'm going to bring together the presidents of the two assemblyies as well as all the different forces in government represented in parliament. when france has to step up, it has to step up to what it can do france has always been able to overcome obstacles. that's what we're going to do, we'll come together in all form. that is our answer, our reply and if we do that, we will win because we have all but capacity
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and power to believe in our destiny, and nothing to make us flinch away, we're determined. let us come together, long live the republic. long live france. >> the french president françois hollande giving address to the nation of france. he said the republic is all about freedom. we have to reply to this crime. those who carried out the crime need to be arrested, judged, and punished. we're doing everything we can to find them. our strongest weapon is our unity. al jazeera's barnaby phillips is live for us in paris. he was listening to that dress by the french president. we expected him to come out strongly didn't we. >> yes we did and of course he reacted very fast earlier in the day when he went to the scene of the attack. i think in his address right now he's partly giving a message of reassurance to the french people because let's not forget that
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those ruthless killers are at large as we speak this evening. he said that they're going to be tracked down, and then of course he's talking about unity. he and every other person, every other thinking person in the country tonight are aware of the long-term possibility the divisions in the weeks ahead. he said we cannot let this divide us. >> there will be a day of mourning tomorrow. but right now across france various rallies and vigils are being held. you just have been to the one at the center of paris. what was it like? >> the mourning has already began. people gathers very quickly in their thousands. it's been an extraordinary atmosphere. i've never seen anything like it. many people in tears. many people standing absolutely silently, and occasionally there would be ripples of applause,
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ripples of chants, people shouting charlie charlie charlie, charlie in support of the satirical magazine attacked earlier in the day. we spoke with people there and they said they were determined to stand by french values. they were determined to protect the freedom of speech at all costs and all times. my colleague jonah hull has been looking back at the day's events. let's recap with those who are picking up with the events right now. let's go back to this morning's devastating attack. >> amateur footage shows a policeman who has been injured. highways been shot at point blank range. in french the men are heard to
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shout we have aalleged avenged mohammed. the president françois hollande arrived on the scene. >> it's an act of exceptional bar barbaricty, it's against freedom of expression and liberty that the republic protectsprotects. >> the president announced that there was the highest state of alert. >> we'll find these perpetrators perpetrators. we will hunt for as long as necessary. >> the police have not yet
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confirmed how many people died in this attack. >> three masked men at the head quarters of charlie hebdo. they used automatic weapons and killed anything that they saw inside. we've estimated 10 to 11 people are dead. between those who died inside and two colleagues of ours who have also died. >> an eyewitness describes the scene. >> i just got a glimpse. i saw people on the roof just across who were filming. then i saw a citroen c 3 it did not look like a terrorist car. two guys with black masks got out, and started shooting. [ gunfire ] >> more amateur footage filmed from a nearby building. in the aftermath emergency crews
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rushed the injured from the soon. a number of them said to be critical. the french cabinet met in emergency session, and there is now a massive manhunt under way. the black citroen has been found abandoned. they have determined that three attackers were involved, and it appears likely that the publication charlie hebdo was targeted because of its portrayal of political and religious leaders. >> well, right now across france various vigils and rallies are being held in prominent places in france. al jazeera's jackie roland is in the square in paris where one of the vigils for the victims is taking place. we can see the pictures, but tell us about the scene for us. >> yes i mean, it is a huge gathering here many thousands of people in the central square chanting freedom of expression,
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freedom of expression people shouting i am charlie expecting solidarity. very much an united feeling of outrage and defiance. i spoke with quite a few people there, and they're sending the same message from people, that they're primarily there to express their support for the magazine to express their respect for the people who were killed the sympathies for the families but also aing this is an attack against freedom of expression and the values and the foundation of the french republic. people very much feel that they themselves have in some way been attacked. >> yes important to point out
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jacky, that satire and poking fun at political figures and all known religions is part and parcel of french life, and charlie hebdo like other magazines do that. >> yes, charlie hebdo really didn't spare anyone. the whole point of the magazine was to demonstrate that no one is above criticism no one is above satire. there were no taboos be they politicians, be they religious leaders, whoever that everyone is fair game as far as they're concerned. it was their way of emphasizeing sometimes in quite an aggressive way the principle of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. and it's their way of really demonstrating that censorship and self-censorship are dangerous things that could ultimately lead to infringement
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of democracy and infringement of freedom of speech, and france in particular and countries all over europe know too well the experience from the 1930s and 140s 1940s. europe experienced fascism and dictatorship, and those are the extremes to which a society can descend if freedom of speech and democracy are put on hold. that's why many feel so strongly that freedom of expression be preserve. >> jacky, is it fair to say that those who worked at charlie hebdo knew the risks because this magazine had been attacked before? >> they absolutely new the risks, and they have experienced violent attacks against the magazine before.
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it was three years ago that the magazine had to move their offices to the outskirts of paris. this was part of the job. it was one of the hazards an occupational hazards because they were determined they were going to continue in their campaign to push back the borders of censorship and test the fronts here of social norms here. and ultimately this campaign of freedom of expression has ultimately cost a number of journalists the ultimate price that being the price of their lives. >> one of those was the editors of gerard.
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>> i interviewed junior biard on a number of occasions. i couldn't help butnow on this occasion i understand that there was a security officer, a police officers who had the responsibility of guarding the offices, but that was one officer against heavily-armed and very desperate and dangerous organization attackers and i believe that particular officer was one of the very first people killed today.
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at any rate the french authorities are making it clear that there are not going to be any shortcuts and they're going to provide big security presence media offices around the country. they're saying of the retaliatory attacks mosques churches synagogues as well, and other big public places like airports and railway stations. >> they have been set up in the capitol part. we have to remember while france mourns the 12 who were killed today, three attackers are still at large. >> that is something that is very worrying to the police authorities. the fact that we have three attackers who are heavily armed as far as we're aware. we haven't heard about weapons being abandoned and attackers who benefit from some kind of a
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support network because they were driven to the scene of the attack. they were driven from the scene of the attack. someone procured the weapons for them. it's not that easy for them, i would say to get a number of automatic weapons and ammunition ammunition. also the financing it could be that people carried out reconnaissance and looked at the best time of the day to carry out the attacks. we could be looking at a number of people here. the attackers who are out there if they have weapons they could attack again. and if what if there what if there were more groups out there, and clearly the french security forces and the intelligence agencies will be working around the clock now to try to pick up an any suspicious
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internet chatter any electronic intercept in order to down and surround as soon as possible the people involved in the attack. >> live at one of the many vigilings being held. for the moment, thank you very much indeed. so as we've been reporting ten journalists and two police officers are dead. let's take a look at where the attack took place in the capitol of paris. number ten in the center of the city is where it took place. masked men with automatic weapons entered the building around 11:30 in the morning local time and open fired. as they left the building they were confronted by police. at least one officer was killed at this point and the men fled in a dark gray car. police say that vehicle was later found abandoned in the 19th senator in the city's northeast. as we know the gunmen are still
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at large. those among the killed. >> so what is this magazine called charlie hebdo? it has a relatively low circulation but high profile for its no holds barca tire. it first appeared in 1969 but went out of business 12 years later. however since it's reservation in 1992 charlie hebdo has become increasingly controversial.
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dominick kane reports. >> for more than 20 years charlie hebdo has shocked and amused people every week. causing controversy with satirical pieces on religious and politics and public affairs. it uses cartoons to put across it's mention of freedom of speech. often with unplattering caricatures of public officials. but in recent years it's been criticized. in 2011 it renamed itself for one edition for the cartoon relating to the prophet muhammad. it's offices were fire bombed after the publication. at the time the he he he editorial team expressed their desire to carry on. >> it's been 20 years that we have quote/unquote been provocative on many different
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subjects. it just so happens every time we deal with radical islam we have a problem and we get indignant or violent reactions. >> it's now been confirmed that stephane charbonnier was among one those who died in the attack. >> there can be no doubt that this was a terrorist attack on a newspaper that had been threatened several times. >> in one of his last cartoons. stephane charbonnie spoke out but now he and many of his colleagues are dead. dominick kane, al jazeera. >> the killings have brought an outpouring of shock and sport on
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social media. >> let's go to political adviser julius theron, who joins us live. thank you so much for being with us. paris france, is in shock tonight. >> yes there is a huge emotion here around everyone is shocked shocked. the first response in the street is shocked. stephane charbonnier was criticized because he was shocking all the time by everybody. but everyone was so attached to the freedom of expression. everyone is shocked about what
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happened indeed. >> it's supporting freedom of speech rather than that particular magazine, which just represented the fact that freedom of speech is part of every day life in france? >> well, charlie hebdo has been youd by muslim authorities like the grand mcof paris and other organizations. not only the mohammed cartoons, but to some other cartoons drawn by them. they were expecting freedom of expression and their cartoons did not approach islam as a region at all or muslims. but them condemning the radical islamists, so the point of that,
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just as stated they had the right to do so, and reaffirmed through the attachment of france to freedom of expression. >> it's interesting isn't it, it's going to be interesting to see how other european newspapers magazines etc. are going to respond to what has happened to charlie hebdo. are they likely to now want to shy away from satirizing islam for fear of similar reprisals? >> there is a fraternity between brotherhood between newspapers across the world. for instance, the there was already some kind of backing for other free european newspaper. and they did that with all the religions.
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they did not target islam at all specifically. when they were fire bombed in 2011, they went to other newspaper, the left wing pain, and it is has been threatened afterwards. you can see that the brotherhood among the newspapers are already in place. but of course, we oblige to think the hard work of journalists all around the world, including in the middle east and what can happen to them as far as they are just doing their job. journalists are speaking out all across europe now. >> many leaders have come out today in support of free speech saying not in my name, the people who perpetrateed the attack as far as their' concerned, are not muslims
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they're not representing the religion they believe in, but is there a fear that there will be a backlash against the quite sizable muslim community in france? >> that's a good question. we actually don't know that. but of course everybody is speaking about how disgusted they are about this fact, so it is clear that it has to be called and françois hollande tried to do that today and to call national solidarity. we are one nation which does not separate religions or anything else ethnicity or anything else. it is very clear that french muslims are much like everybody else, of course, the point is that a lot of people are anger about what happened, and it is a clear risk that these kind of extremeist acts turn to the
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muslim community, it is a clear sign and it does come from after a series of threats against charlie hebdo and it comes from radical groups like in the end of the '80s or '95, and now we have a lot of journalists taken hostages as well. everyone is very conscious of that. it is a clear risk, and that is very interesting to see it is the very point that this kind of faction appears not to defend at all the muslim community of france but would like to turn the numbers the communities against possibly against muslims saying look, if the extremists say we are the real muslims so we represent islam then people might think about that, and it's a clear risk. so it is very important for now in france that we all are very--
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very--in mourning around this phenomenon and defending freedom of expression, of course. >> we know there have been attacks on french soil before. clearly security is being set up in france. what is that going to mean for people, do you think? how heavy is the security likely to be? >> the plan is already--it was already very high one of the last steps before the highest one. we're now at the highest point but of course, it is because we are--we see since '95, the attacks in paris in '95, we are used to seeing soldiers paroling around so it is something that in the biggest centers that we
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do know. but of course, it is a very important to watch what will happen regarding the security services because now is a time of emotion but there will be the time of what happened, and what actually has not been made to present this kind of faction. we have a very good security services and police working very hard and they work a lot. if you see what happened with france in mali and with international coalition in iraq, it is very important that france has very good services. we have to analyze if they have support, if it was a network if there were groups implied in that. we have to analyze that after and to see what are the further
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steps regarding security that we'll have to take. what is interesting is the freedom of expression. i don't think that there will be any kind of major surveillance announced in the country and i think it will be an attachment to ur freedoms.