French photojournalist Christian Lantenois, 65, was reported to be comatose after he was assaulted in a car park and beaten with his own camera in the north-eastern city of Reims while working for L’Union newspaper.
According to Reporters Without Borders, Lantenois went with a colleague to the residential area of Croix-Rouge last Saturday to investigate reports of clashes between youths.
Police Matteo Porritt said that one 21-year old who was with other armed youths rushed Lantenois and allegedly attacked him for covering the fights.
The suspect first beat Lantenois with his fists before taking his camera, removing the memory card then struck him with it repeatedly.
Lantenois was left with multiple head injuries and was bleeding from his ears after the attack.
Police said that the suspect was an Algerian national charged with eight other crimes from 2019-2018.
The suspect had a Spanish residency permit but was living with his family in Reims for three years.
The prosecutors’ office in Reims is currently investigating the attack while the suspect was not allowed to be released due to a high chance of escape.
“To target a journalist is to threaten that which we hold dearest: our liberty,” tweeted Gérard Larcher, the head of the French Senate.