The day after the adoption at first reading by the Assembly of a text penalizing the malicious dissemination of images of the police, several demonstrations are taking place this Saturday in France at the call in particular of journalists’ unions. They want the withdrawal of what they consider to be an “attack on freedom of expression” and “the rule of law”.
Mobilizations are taking place in about twenty cities, the main one at the Trocadéro, in Paris. On the crowded square, where we could see number of yellow vests, the flags of the PCF, EELV, FO and NPA fly, as well as a banner from Extinction Rebellion and another from Mediapart: “Democracy dies in obscurity”.
In Lille, a thousand demonstrators gathered on Saturday morning for the proposed law “Global security”, with cries of “Even not drone”, “Orwell was right and” Blur of gueule “.
More than a thousand people were also in the streets in Rennes, with signs “Lower your weapons, we will lower our phones”, “The camera has never killed anyone”, “Global security, total impunity”. A thousand people also marched in Montpellier.
Article 24 at the heart of concerns
A press conference was organized at the same time at the headquarters of the Human Rights League, in the presence of Amnesty International, representatives of journalists’ unions and an official of a minority police union, the CGT-Interior. .
The National Assembly voted on Friday evening, after having amended it, the most controversial measure of the bill “Comprehensive security”: article 24 penalizing the malicious dissemination of the image of the police, with government guarantees on the “right to inform”.
It penalizes one year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros for the dissemination of “the image of the face or any other element of identification” of the police in intervention when it “undermines” their “integrity. physical or mental ”. Social media campaigns are in the government’s sights.
A “slow decline of the rule of law”
This article, but also the possible use of drones and the fear of facial recognition by surveillance cameras, sparked intense emotion in the media. A concern relayed to the National Assembly to the left of the hemicycle, in particular by La France insoumise (LFI).
“We are worried about the slow decline of the rule of law, which seems to lead to a police state,” said Arie Alimi, member of the national office of the League of Human Rights.
In Le Figaro, Sylvain Maillard, LREM deputy for Paris, tried to defuse the anger: “The text is not well understood. Obviously we can continue to film anyone and of course the police. “
Journalists’ unions argue that there is no need for a new law “to scare”, while the Criminal Code and the 1881 Press Freedom Act already punish incitement offenses. hatred.
A “social control” law for journalists’ unions
“We have the impression that the police are freewheeling and that they do what they want where they want”, launched Dominique Pradalié of the SNJ. For Pablo Aiquel of the SNJ-CGT, Emmanuel Macron “is a white-collar populist”. “How are we going to ask Poland and Hungary to respect the rule of law when in France we are doing everything to undermine it? He asked.
Secretary General at the CGT-Interior, Anthony Caillé joined the journalists to demand “the total withdrawal” of this law of “social control” and denounced the state of the police.
Minister Gérald Darmanin, he observed, “forgets to say that for twenty years we have abolished 35,000 positions in the national police”, he said, regretting that there was no upstream “an impact study” on the effects of the proposal.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr