17 Dec 2019 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 22 Oct 2018 n° 118/2018 France
Leader of La France Insoumise Party Calls to ‘Badmouth’ France Info Journalists
In a video published on 19 October 2018 on his Facebook account, the leader of the opposition party La France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, attacked the journalists of the public radio station France Info (Radio France group). They had revealed suspicions about overcharging by his party, during the 2017 presidential election campaign in France. In this video, Mr Mélenchon calls France Info a "state radio" and its journalists "morons". He called upon supporters of La France Insoumise to "discredit the journalists" of Radio France: "Badmouth them wherever you can (...) . Ultimately, there must be thousands of people who believe that France Info journalists are liars, and cheaters." Several journalists' organisations have denounced Mr Mélenchon's insults and intimidation, whilst acknowledging his right to criticise the media. On 20 October, Radio France announced that it would file a complaint following Mr Mélenchon’s remarks.
10 Dec 2018
According to media reports, Jean-Luc Mélenchon was summoned by seven “France Info” journalists and the National Union of Journalists (SNJ) before the Marseille Criminal Court over acts of insult and defamation.
- Statement by SNJ-CGT: "Jean-Luc Mélenchon récidive"
- Open letter by the Journalists of Radio France : "Les « abrutis » de France Info à Mr Mélenchon…"
- Video posted by Mr. Mélenchon on his Facebook profil
- UN resolution condemns political leaders’ denigration of journalists and calls for action to prevent attacks
- Article published by "Le Parisien": "Le patron de France Info demande à Mélenchon de «retirer ses menaces»"
- Statement by SNJ Union- Radio France section : "La malsaine colère de Jean-Luc Mélenchon"
17 Dec 2019
Reply from the French authorities