13 Sep 2016 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 18 Jan 2016 n° 10/2016 Belgium
Journalists Working for RTL Info and France 3 Attacked in Molenbeek
TV journalists working for RTL Info and France 3 were physically attacked on 15 January 2016 in Molenbeek (Belgium) by family members of one of the perpetrators of the Paris November 2015 terror attacks where more than 100 people were killed. The two television crews were willing to interview any person who could comment on the profile of Chakib Akrouh who, according to media reports, was identified by his DNA as the terrorist who blew himself up in Saint-Denis (Paris) during the police raid which led to the capture of several suspects. The attacked journalists tried to calm the situation down and repeatedly said that they had asked for the violence against them as well as the cameraman to stop. The Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP, EFJ-IFJ affiliate) quickly condemned these attacks and announced that it will initiate judicial proceedings against the perpetrators. The AJP recalled that “there is no lawless zone where journalists cannot access information. In terrorism related cases, as in all others, journalists should not be considered as ’enemies’". They are trying, often working under difficult conditions, to understand and to explain the facts in order to inform the public about matters of general interests”. Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, also condemned the attack.
: The Belgian Prime Minister publicly and firmly condemned the attack. The assaulted journalists filed complaints against their assailants. On 13 September 2016, the partner organisations of the Platform declared this case to be "resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
- Article and video published on RTL Info website (in French): "Des journalistes de RTL Info et de France 3 agressés par un homme à Molenbeek"
- Press release from the Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP) (in French) : "L’AJP dénonce l’agression de deux équipes de journalistes à Molenbeek"
29 Apr 2016
Reply from the Government of Belgium