Estonian officials turn to social media to comment on Paris terrorist attack (2)

A woman holds a sign reading "I am Charlie" in New York during a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of a shooting, by gunmen at the offices of weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. (Reuters/Scanpix)
1/8/2015 11:39 AM
Category: International

A wide range of Estonian public figures expressed sorrow over the attacks at a satirical Paris newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, that killed 12 and injured 11 on Wednesday.

The president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, also posted an English-language version of his comments.

"I was shocked to the very core [....] by the terrorist act that took place [Wednesday] at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and claimed the lives of multiple victims," wrote Ilves, in a letter of condolence sent to French President François Hollande which was first posted on Facebook and then later on the President's official website.

"We must remain decisive and united in defending our values – with freedom of speech and opinion being an inseparable part of it – as we stand against inner evil, hatred and violence, which deny freedom of speech.

"Estonia mourns with the next of kin and friends of the people who were killed in this act of violence, and our thoughts are with those who were injured and their families. In these difficult days, France shall remain in the thoughts of Estonia," Ilves wrote.

French police are hunting today for two heavily armed men responsible for the methodical killing of 12 people in and around the office of Charlie Hebdo, a paper that had caricatured the Islamic Prophet Muhammed in past issues. France has begun a day of national mourning for what Hollande called "an act of exceptional barbarism."

The government, as did many of its members, also turned to social media to share their reaction. Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas retweeted the Twitter posting of the official Estonian government account:

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Keit Pentus-Rosimanus tweeted:

 

Former foreign minister and new member of the European Parliament, Urmas Paet, stressed the attack was a shared European event:

 

Paris police published photos of two brothers, 32-year-old Cherif Kouachi and 34-year-old Said, wanted as suspects and said arrest warrants had been issued against them. A frenzied search took place in the city of Reims on Wednesday.

One of the suspects, Cherif, had already served time on terrorism charges. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being convicted of terrorism charges in 2008 for helping funnel fighters to Iraq's insurgency.

A third man, Mourad Hamyd, 18, surrendered at a police station after learning his name was linked to the attacks in the news.

Finnish-Estonian author and playwright Sofi Oksanen stressed the attack on freedom of expression in the slayings. Among the victims were 10 journalists and at least four cartoonists.

S. Abel

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