As of this morning, twelve members of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were were murdered. Among them was the editor of the magazine, Stéphane Charbonnier.

In an interview with Le Monde, Charbonnier commented on the controversy his publication’s comics created and his appreciation to have the freedom and protection to speak freely.

“We didn’t feel like we could kill somebody with a pen,” said Charbonnier. “This may sound pompous, but I prefer to die standing up than live on my knees.”

“We publish caricatures every week, but people only describe them as declarations of war when it’s about the person of the Prophet or radical Islam,” he said to Der Spiegel.