About 40 people gathered in central Bangkok to mourn the deadly attack on a French satirical magazine head office and showing support for those exercising freedom of expression.
Thais and foreigners gathering in front of the Bangkok Art & Culture Center (BACC) in central Bangkok on Thursday night to express support for Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine based in Paris, France, attacked by suspected Muslim extremists led to at least 12 people killed, including, its editor, Stephane Charbonnier, two police officers, and four cartoonists.
People lit up candles the mourn the victims of the attack on Wednesday evening in central Bangkok
The attack on the magazine took place at around midday on Wednesday after two masked gunmen entered the office building and started firing at the magazine’s personnel.
The participants held placards say “‘Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie), the campaign initiated by people in France to expressed support for the magazine, and other placards such as “A drawing has never killed anyone”.
Participants held placards saying “‘Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) and “A drawing has never killed anyone”.
“Press freedom and freedom of expression, I would like to stand firm with others to say that these rights and freedom must be protected,” said Pimsiri Petchnamrob, a human rights activist who participated in the event.
“Things that happened was unacceptable. As a Muslim woman I may not agree with the what Charlie presented, but violence is not the answer. There are other ways that one can counter this. I agree that they have the right to say that they don’t believe in our beliefs, but we also have the rights to say that we don’t accept what they believe either, but it has to be expressed in the way that’s appropriate to the 21st Century,” a Muslim woman who asked not to be identified told Prachatai.
A Muslim woman wearing hijab, a headscarf, participated in the event saying violence is not the answer
Wad Rawee, a penname of a writer who participated in the event said “the only way to get rid of bad ideas is that you have to come up with better ideas. That’s the only way. Therefore, if those cartoons of that cartoonist were bad, there must be better ideas or better cartoons that can criticize things better than those cartoons. This would be the way to get rid of the mindset of that cartoonist, but if you kill him, it is not the way to get of his ideas. It is useless and would only lead to darkness.”
Most people left the event after the security officers at the BACC warned that the participants that the military officers were coming to inspect the event.
Two foreigners participate in the event holding two symbolic placards
People stood in silence to mourn the victims of the attack