(ATR) The IOC president joined voices from around the world in condemning the terrorist attack on a satirical French newspaper that left 12 dead on Wednesday.
Two masked gunmen gained entry to the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris’ 11th district late Wednesday morning. Eight newspaper staffers, two police officers and two others were killed in the attack.
In a letter to France President François Hollande and the people of France, Thomas Bach said, "Such barbaric acts are an attack on the values of all civilized people from whatever country, religion or creed.
"Let me assure you that the entire Olympic Movement, just as all right-thinking people, stand shoulder to shoulder with you and the people of France today," Bach said. "This was a shocking, brutal attack not just on France but on the values for which we all stand, and the values on which the Olympic Movement is also built.
"France is a country which stands for the civilized values of tolerance, friendship and respect. Those guns were aimed not just at journalists but at freedom of speech and the values for which France stands so strongly."
Bach echoed an earlier statement from Hollande calling the incident "an act of exceptional barbarism."
Olympic Journalists Association president Steve Wilson and the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) spoke out against the attack as well.
"This is a time to express grief and condolences to the families and loved ones of the journalists and others lost in this terrible tragedy," Wilson tells Around the Rings. "It is also the time to express solidarity and support for the safety of journalists all over the world."
AIPS "strongly condemned" the attack in a statement, calling it a "black day for media."
"Such violent acts on innocent colleagues is appalling," said AIPS president Gianni Merlo. "We strongly condemn this attack that has left a hole in our profession."
Written by Nick Devlin
20 Years at #1: Your best source of news about the Olympics is AroundTheRings.com, for subscribers only.