French Journalists Accuse Government of Curtailing Press Freedom in France

French President Emmanuel Macron served as the leading defender of freedom of expression, however French journalists and advocates criticize what they perceive as a government crackdown on press freedom.

French President Emmanuel Macron served as the leading defender of freedom of expression, however French journalists and advocates criticize what they perceive as a government crackdown on press freedom. 

The controversy began when a new security law that has banned filming the police was implemented.

The provision has given the French government to fine offenders up to 45,000 euros along with a one (1) year sentence for “disseminating by any means or medium whatsoever . . . the image of the face or any other identifying element of an officer . . . when engaged in a police operation.”

The situation escalated when police detained a journalist from a public television channel, France 3, for filming a protest, even after showing law enforcement his media credentials. 

The French government has argued that this provision would protect police officers that are in the line of duty. 

Media leaders and prominent news outlets have criticized the provision. 

In response to this, Darmanin’s office has ensured that the new law would exempt journalists from the police-filming ban.

However, the text of this proposed extension has not been released yet.


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