Police act illegaly against journalists

1st August 2009

A UK journalist, NUJ member, was taking photos at the Ethiopian squat. When police arrived to try and arrest migrants there he was told by CRS, French riot police, that he could not take any photos. His camera was taken off him and the photos taken at the time deleted.

6th August 2009

The same UK journalist was at the Ethiopian squat when CRS again turned up. As they did he discreetly handed his camera to one of the Ethiopians who took it inside the squat. Police then told him that it was illegal under French law to photograph the police and got aggressive with him. They asked for his camera. At this point he showed his NUJ ID and UK ID, saying that “in a democracy I don’t think police should have the authority to exercise editorial control over images people could see”. He called his NUJ union representative and has since enagaged NUJ legal advisors on the issue. He was not prepared to say where his equipment was and was detained for 15 minutes while police made calls and then changed their minds and released him.

Relevant article of police law stating it is not illegal to photograph police, unless engaged in secret service activities, English translations coming soon:


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