Journalist Attacked in Paris by Members or Supporters of the Jewish Defense League

Update: 12 Feb 2018 State replied
Year 12 Nov 2015 Country France Category Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 2
12 Nov 2015 France Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Non-state EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 2

On 22 October 2015, David Perrotin, journalist at Buzzfeed France, was attacked by around ten militants participating in a rally against the coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by Agence France Presse (AFP). The meeting was organised, among others, by the Jewish Defense League (JDL). In the early evening, David Perrotin came to the headquarters of the AFP, Place de la Bourse in Paris, to follow the event. After having discovered the presence of the reporter, activists decided to attack him. "Around ten young people, obviously members or supporters of the JDL, approached him wearing masks and hoods" says the editor of BuzzFeed France, Cécile Dehesdin. "Ten youngsters insulted him before chasing him and then beating him." Following police intervention, the journalist was sheltered in the headquarters of the AFP, which was protected by a row of policemen. David Perrotin filed charges against X the next day.

Follow-ups

12 Nov 2015 : OSCE Representative raises concern over attack of Buzzfeed journalist and threats to storm AFP offices in France, welcomes swift police action

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20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Mehmet Altan’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Altan’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Altan’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
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