French lawmakers debate bill that would ban publishing images of police in action

French lawmakers debate bill that would ban publishing images of police in action
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The French government said Wednesday that a security bill under debate in parliament would not prevent journalists or witnesses from recording police officers in action.

The government said the proposed law, which was the subject of protests in Paris and other cities on Tuesday, is intended to protect police officers from online calls for violence. Critics fear that if enacted, the measure would impinge on the rights of journalists.

Scuffles broke out between protesters and police in the capital on Tuesday evening at the end of a largely peaceful demonstration near the National Assembly, where French lawmakers are debating the bill.

Paris police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd and asked some journalists to leave the scene.

French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said he noted the “doubts, concerns, criticism” over the proposed bill.

“There is an absolute right to film and broadcast law enforcement operations by security forces during a protest,” he said.

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The proposed law is championed by lawmakers of President Emmanuel Macron’s party, which has a majority in the National Assembly. Lawmakers are scheduled to vote next week on the bill, which will then go to the Senate.
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