29 Nov 2018 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 29 Nov 2018 Belgium

Arbitrary Arrest of a Journalist in Charleroi

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Belgian journalist Patrick Lefèbvre, a contributor to the daily "La Dernière Heure", was arbitrarily arrested in Charleroi on the night of 24 to 25 November 2018. While filming clashes following a demonstration, police arrested him on a public road. Patrick Lefèbvre was wearing an orange jacket bearing the mention "Press". His press card was clearly visible. "While I was filming the police assault, the reporter testified, they asked me to stand in front of them, on the side of the demonstrators. A policeman grabbed me from behind and claimed that I was a fake journalist in order to make a judicial arrest. I was locked in a cell without my shoes and without my belt until 7 am. I was then released without explanation and without even a hearing. Only one senior officer apologized'. On 29 November, the Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP) sent a letter of protest to Prime Minister Charles Michel and Interior Minister Jan Jambon.
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