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French journalists protest police crackdown

JOURNALISTS in France have called a week of protest against a "Global Security law" (loi sécurité globale) that would, among other things, impose penalties of a year in prison and a fine of €45,000 for distributing photographs of police officers.

Journalists protest on 12 March

Journalists protest on 12 March

Our translation of the current version of the Bill is that it criminalises "distributing by any means... with the obvious aim of harming his physical or mental integrity, the image of the face or any other element of identification, other than his individual identification number, of a national police officer, a member of the national gendarmerie or a municipal police officer when these personnel are acting within the framework of a police operation.". Though there is a qualification that this is "without prejudice to" press freedom, it is clear that if passed this would be used against anyone attempting to report on, for example, police violence.

The union the Syndicat National des Journalistes (SNJ) reports that about 2000 people joined a protest in Montpellier on 13 March and 500 in Toulouse on the same day.

The SNJ gives details of further protests to #StopLoiSecuritéGlobale - with more to be announced.