04 Dec 2019 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 26 Aug 2019 n° 96/2019 France

Journalists Covering the G7 Summit Victims of Abusive Police Confiscations and Controls

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Several journalists present in Biarritz and Bayonne to cover the G7 summit on 24 and 25 August 2019 were subjected to abusive police controls and arbitrary confiscation of work equipment. Some of them were prevented from covering police operations against anti-G7 demonstrators. As early as 24 August, in Petit Bayonne, the police forces arbitrarily confiscated, without issuing official certificate, the protective equipment (helmets, gas masks, black jackets, swimming pool goggles, etc.) of some French and foreign journalists, including the Al Jazeera channel teams. Other journalists were able to access Petit Bayonne while keeping their protective equipment. In the afternoon of 24 August, some 20 journalists, kept at a distance by the police, were prevented from covering clashes between police and demonstrators.
Updates
10 Sep 2019
On 29 August 2019, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) wrote to the Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, emphasising the commitments made by the President of the Republic to ensure that law enforcement officials respect press freedom.
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