Paris su­per­mar­ket hostages sue me­dia over live cov­er­age

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Six peo­ple who hid in a su­per­mar­ket re­frig­er­a­tor dur­ing Jan­uary’s Is­lamist at­tacks in Paris have sued French me­dia for broad­cast­ing their lo­ca­tion live dur­ing the siege.

Images broad­cast from the scene on Jan. 9, when gun­man Am­edy Coulibaly stormed into the Hy­per Casher Jewish su­per­mar­ket, killing four and tak­ing oth­ers hostage, “lacked the most ba­sic pre­cau­tions” and en­dan­gered those still alive in­side, said a lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the group, Pa­trick Klug­man.

Klug­man sin­gled out French 24-hour news chan­nel BFMTV, which re­vealed live on air that the group — in­clud­ing a 3-year-old child and a 1-month-old baby — was hid­ing from Coulibaly in the cold room, where they were taken by one of the su­per­mar­ket’s em­ploy­ees.

“The work­ing meth­ods of me­dia in real time in this type of sit­u­a­tion were tan­ta­mount to goad­ing some­one to com­mit a crime,” Klug­man told AFP Thurs­day, roundly crit­i­ciz­ing cov­er­age by other out­lets of se­cu­rity forces move­ments dur­ing the stand­off.

The lives of those hid­ing “could have been at risk if Coulibaly had been aware in real time what BFM- TV was broad­cast­ing,” Klug­man said, adding that the ji­hadist was fol­low­ing the cov­er­age of his raid on dif­fer­ent chan­nels and had been in con­tact with BFMTV jour­nal­ists.

The heav­ily tele­vised events at Hy­per Cacher in eastern Paris came two days af­ter Cherif and Said Kouachi shot 12 peo­ple at the of­fices of satir­i­cal mag­a­zine Char­lie Hebdo. All three gun­men were killed af­ter three days of at­tacks the killed a to­tal of 17 peo­ple and deeply shocked France.

The law­suit charges me­dia out­lets with en­dan­ger­ing the lives of oth­ers by de­lib­er­ately ig­nor­ing se­cu­rity pro­to­cols, which car­ries a max­i­mum penalty of a year in pri­son and a 15,000-euro (US$16,300) fine.

AP

In this Jan. 9 file photo, se­cu­rity of­fi­cers es­cort re­leased hostages af­ter they stormed a kosher mar­ket to end a hostage sit­u­a­tion in Paris.

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