France’s new law limits press freedom

Thousands in Paris, tens of thousands all over France are protesting for the second time in a week against the Global Security Law.

This new law has been voted in the French parliament and makes it illegal to film and publish images of police officers. For these demonstrators this new law is a violation of the right to inform. Earlier this week, the police used tear gas and water cannon when protesters took the street in front of the French parliament. With the new law, it will become illegal to film this kind of police intervention.

During the yellow vest movement, videos have been used in judicial investigation concerning police violence. With this law, the French state can more easily hide illegal actions, committed by police officers. It can also more easily hide scandals which opens the door for abuse of power.

The French government says they want a better protection for their police force, but the new French law is seriously criticized by the Human rights Council of the United Nations as well as by a large spectrum of the French civil society, journalist associations, trade unions, political parties and human rights defenders.

One year of prison and 45000 Euros of penalty: that’s what someone risks for publishing the face of a police officer. Many people here say that the French government is using the coronavirus crisis to limit personal and public liberties.

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