French Protestors rioting because of restrictions on photographing Police

Tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets in France to protect Article 24 of France’s Global Security Bill.

French lawmakers pass controversial bill that restricts the publication of images of police

French lawmakers passed a bill on Tuesday that critics say could make it harder for journalists and human rights advocates to hold police accountable. The Global Security Bill’s most controversial section — Article 24 — which was approved by lawmakers on Friday, forbids the publication of images that allow the identification of a law enforcement officer “with the intent to cause them harm, physically or mentally.”

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On Saturday, there were more protests against the bill with an estimated 22,000 people taking part in marches across France. In Paris the crowds included representatives of the media, along with some gilets jaunes (yellow vest) protesters and members of Extinction Rebellion.

Why is France’s new national security bill controversial?

The bill has been strongly criticised by journalists and rights groups who argue that it would curtail press freedom and lead to less police accountability. Those opposed to the legislation are concerned that, if it is enacted, it risks endangering journalists and other onlookers who film officers at work, especially during violent protests. They say documenting and sharing the actions of violent officers is essential in stopping future incidents of police brutality.

If police can act without accountability, they are free to do any heinous thing they want to citizens.

According to Cecile Coudriou, president of Amnesty International France: “If people cannot film anything in the streets when the police may sometimes have an illegal use of force it’s a very worrying message to send”

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