“Global security”: the image of the police and the press at the heart of the controversy

The deputies continued Wednesday the examination of the proposed law “global security”, of which the part on the image of the police officers and the freedom of the press continues to crystallize passions and antagonisms.

If the debates in the hemicycle focused on the new prerogatives of the municipal police, the controversy continued after the clashes the day before near the Assembly, between law enforcement and some of the demonstrators who were massed to say their opposition to a text deemed “liberticidal”.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin blasted “unacceptable violence”: “While representatives of the people were going to legitimately discuss a text of law, there was pressure on representatives of the Nation not to discuss freely” .

Tear gas, water cannons, destroyed street furniture: 33 people were arrested following the clashes which left “ten lightly injured including nine among the internal security forces”, according to the police headquarters.

The deputy LR Marc Le Fur denounced Wednesday a demonstration of “extreme violence”, and asked that the functions of the prefect of police Didier Lallement be terminated. A new mobilization is looming on Saturday.

Several journalists deplored having been prevented from filming arrests Tuesday evening and some were “molested or arrested” according to the National Union of Journalists. A journalist from France Televisions remained in custody for 12 hours without “any reason”, denounced the group Wednesday evening, criticizing an “arbitrary arrest”. He received a reminder of the law according to the prefecture.

Mr. Darmanin said Wednesday that journalists “must approach the authorities” upstream to “be able to report, do (their) work”. Target of strong criticism, he recovered in the evening, affirming in a tweet that the national plan of the maintenance of order which he presented in September “provides that journalists can, without being obliged to, take contact with the prefectures upstream of the demonstrations “.

Other gatherings took place in big cities like Lyon, Rennes, Marseille.

In search of “balance”

The mistrust of opponents of the LREM bill and its ally Agir focuses on this article 24, which provides for a framework for the image of the police.

Debated probably at the end of the week, it plans to penalize one year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros for the dissemination of “the image of the face or any other element of identification” of a police officer or a gendarme in intervention, when the aim is to “undermine his physical or mental integrity”.

Supported by the police unions, the measure made jump representatives of journalists and defenders of public freedoms.

Last week, Gérald Darmanin had pleaded for a hardening of the measure, by wanting to impose the mandatory blurring of the police, an orientation closer to LR than to the positions of “marchers”. Before putting his proposal under the snuffer.

Desirous of evacuating “the caricatures”, the majority seems to take a step in the direction of the opponents, including its allies of the Modem who want to suppress this article 24.

The leader of LREM deputies Christophe Castaner drew up on Tuesday an inventory of cases where this measure would not apply, ensuring that “respect for fundamental freedoms is total”.

LREM deputy Roland Lescure suggested “perhaps changing the drafting” to recall “freedom of the press”.

“There is an obviously absolute right within the framework of a demonstration to film and to diffuse operations of maintenance of order”, also assured the spokesman of the government, Gabriel Attal. “Without doubt the parliamentary debates will make it possible to reconfirm it”.

In an attempt to find a “balance”, the majority has up its sleeve several amendments tabled by Sacha Houlié and other LREM deputies, explicitly guaranteeing freedom of the press.

While waiting in the hemicycle, the deputies plunged into the prerogatives of the municipal police. Gérald Darmanin ruled out the hypothesis of compulsory arming, wanting to leave the choice to the communities, as well as access to the list of S.

Article 1 on the experimentation of new skills was adopted at midnight, before the night break. This first reading must continue until Friday, before a solemn vote on Tuesday.

19/11/2020 01:32:34 – Paris (AFP) – © 2020 AFP

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