Reuters CHARLES PLATIAU
Thousands of people demonstrated in France to protest against a bill imposing restrictions on filming police officers while performing their duties, denouncing the move as restricting the freedom of the press.
And participated in demonstrations near the Eiffel Tower in central Paris representatives of the media and movements such as “Zero Jackets”, in addition to trade unions, and some waved the flags of the Communist and Green parties.
A banner was raised to the Mediarbat agency, which read: “Democracy dies in darkness.”
On Friday, the French Parliament approved the amendment of the “Comprehensive Security Law”, which would criminalize the publication of pictures of police officers while they are working with the intention of harming their “physical or psychological integrity.”
Journalists’ unions said, “The police are giving the green light to prevent reporters from carrying out their work and the possibility of documenting potential violations.”
The amendment clarifies that “the proposed measures should not impede the freedom of the press in any way,” while the French media are concerned about potential rights violations through the use of drones to monitor demonstrations, as well as face-recognition programs linked to surveillance cameras.
In recent years, the French police have faced accusations of brutality in their dealings with demonstrators and suspects, especially with citizens of African descent, Arabs and other minorities.