On 9 January 2015, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, visited, with the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, the Embassy of the French Republic in Sofia, to express her sympathy with the French Government represented by HE Ambassador Xavier Lapeyre de Cabanes and to honor the memory of the 12 victims of the brutal attack against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, at the heart of Paris.
"In my capacity as Director-General of UNESCO, and on behalf of the entire Organization, I would like to express our utmost solidarity and compassion with the French Republic and the French people. I condemn in the strongest way possible the abominable acts committed against journalists in Charlie Hebdo, free thinkers and living guardians of democracy, who were cowardly and coldly murdered in the exercise of their profession. They died for the freedom of expression. Under its mandate, UNESCO will, with all its Member States, continue, more than ever, its mission to promote and defend free, pluralistic and independent media. Freedom of expression is one of the most precious assets of humanity. This is a unique conquest and we will do everything for it to be preserved and guaranteed. Fear will never defeat the strength of thought and mind,” she wrote in the book of condolences opened on this occasion at the Embassy of France in Bulgaria.