The State of Emergency Permits a Ban on Journalists Covering Public Events

Update: 07 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 20 May 2016 Country France Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
20 May 2016 France E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ Level 2

Under the Act of 20 November 2015 promulgating the state of emergency in France, journalists can be subject to travel restrictions which prevent them from covering certain public events. Thus, on Monday 16 May 2016, the photographer NnoMan received a prefectural order prohibiting him from covering an event on 17 May against the bill on labour laws in Paris. This decision was justified by the Prefecture of Police of Paris by the presence of the journalist “on a number of occasions, in particular during the demonstrations against police violence and the labour law reform bill," which escalated "into a serious disturbance of public order" according to the decree. On Tuesday 17 May, following multiple reactions from professional organisations and the civil society, the ban was lifted and the journalist was able to cover the event. The Prefecture was reported "to have ignored he was a journalist." Several French journalists' unions denounce the provision of the law on state of emergency that legally allows prefects to "prohibit the stay in all or part of the administrative division".

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