Pacific Media Watch

12 January 2015

REGION: New Caledonia, Tahiti and NZ rally for Paris media terrorism victims

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The Noumea march for Charlie Hebdo in New Caledonia yesterday. Image: AFP

NOUMEA (Radio New Zealand International/Pacific Media Watch): About 4000 people have attended a march in New Caledonia to remember the 17 people killed in last week's attacks in Paris centred on the satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo, Radio New Zealand International reports.

The crowd marched from Noumea's port area to the city's main square, echoing the French call for marches to show unity.

Among those joining were an official representing the French High Commissioner and the mayor of Noumea, Sonia Lagarde.

At 6pm there was a minute of silence in response to a call by the president of New Caledonia Human Rights League, Elie Poigoune.

He said he was proud that New Caledonia showed its solidarity and compassion towards the 17 families who have become victims of terrorism.

Last week, there was a spontaneous large rally in Noumea when news broke of the fatal shooting in Paris.

In Pape'ete, Tahiti, about 500 people in French Polynesia gathered to show respect for the terrorism victims in Paris, RNZI reported.

The gathering was organised by local journalists and follows mass rallies in many French cities to remember those killed in the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office.

Today's crowd was much smaller than a spontaneous rally last week, with correspondents saying today's heat and simultaneous church services may have diminished the expected attendance.

In France, Al Jazeera reported an estimated 3.7 million people were joined by dozens of world leaders to march across the country in honour of the 17 people killed, according to the country's Interior Ministry.

In Paris, up 1.6 million took part in Sunday's rally, among them family members of the 12 people killed during the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo weekly.

In Auckland, New Zealand, on Friday more than 1000 people took part in a rally and vigil organised by French expatriates living in New Zealand, Pacific Media Watch reported. This followed an earlier smaller rally the day before outside the French Embassy in the capital of Wellington.

New Zealanders and French expatriates rally in support of the killed Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, policemen and their families in Auckland's Aotea Square on Friday. Image: David Robie/PMC

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Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators. (cc) Creative Commons