06 Dec 2018 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 20 May 2016 n° 57/2016 France
The State of Emergency Permits a Ban on Journalists Covering Public Events
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".
06 Dec 2018: On 6 December 2018, taking into consideration the fact that the decree prohibiting the journalist to cover the event was cancelled, as notified in the French authorities’ reply to this alert, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
07 Feb 2018
Reply of the French authorities