Charlie Hebdo massacre 'an attack on free speech' - Ian Knox

Charlie Hebdo - Cartoonists and journalists around the world unite in their determination to continue their work despite the murder of 13 Charlie Hebdo staff by extremists
Connla Young

AWARD-winning Irish News cartoonist Ian Knox has spoken of his shock after 12 people were gunned down at the Paris based satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Mr Knox said he met one of the artists, Bernard Verlhac, who used the name, Tignous, at a cartoon festival in Co Wicklow in the 1990s.

Mr Knox said he "cannot believe" the events that unfolded in the French capital as gunmen went on the rampage. "I think this crosses the threshold. I can't think of anything like it that has happened before," he said. "The Nazis put a high price on the head of David Low, they didn't mind being portrayed as evil but they did not like being ridiculed. Most fascistic people resent being ridiculed more than being called evil."

The Belfast-based cartoonist believes the Paris massacre is "an attack on free speech". "I think it is the duty of all newspapers everywhere in the free world to reprint those controversial cartoons, whatever they were, in the right context," he said.

Mr Knox said it was important for newspapers to stand in "solidarity with free speech and show they are not going to be cowed by these people".


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