French me­dia de­nounce vi­o­lent ‘yel­low vest’ at­tacks on press

Iran Daily - - International -

French me­dia and re­porters’ or­ga­ni­za­tions on Sun­day de­nounced at­tacks on jour­nal­ists by “yel­low vest” anti-gov­ern­ment pro­test­ers and called for bet­ter pro­tec­tion af­ter a se­ries of in­ci­dents this week­end.

Paris po­lice fired wa­ter can­non and tear gas to push back demon­stra­tors from around the Arc de Tri­om­phe mon­u­ment on Satur­day, in the ninth straight week­end of protests against French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron’s eco­nomic re­forms, Reuters re­ported.

Jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing the protests are in­creas­ingly be­com­ing a tar­get for the demon­stra­tors.

In the western city of Rouen, LCI tele­vi­sion re­porters were at­tacked by a group of pro­test­ers. One of the se­cu­rity agents work­ing with the TV crew was beaten while he was on the ground and had his nose bro­ken, with footage of the in­ci­dent widely shared on so­cial me­dia.

In Paris, an LCI re­porter was pushed to the ground as demon­stra­tors tried to take away her cam­era, the sta­tion said, adding that it will take le­gal ac­tion against the at­tack­ers.

Sev­eral other sta­tions, in­clud­ing BFM TV and fran­ce­info, on Sun­day showed im­ages of re­porters be­ing has­sled or pushed around dur­ing Satur­day’s “yel­low vest” marches.

Re­porters with­out Bor­ders Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Christophe Deloire called on au­thor­i­ties to take ac­tion.

“This is anti-demo­cratic black­mail from peo­ple who con­sider they can beat up jour­nal­ists if they dis­agree with the way events are cov­ered,” he said on France Info ra­dio.

In­te­rior Min­is­ter Christophe Cas­taner said on his Twit­ter feed that any­one at­tack­ing re­porters will be brought to jus­tice.

France has been rocked by yel­low vest protests against Macron’s re­forms since the mid­dle of Novem­ber in a move­ment that has no des­ig­nated lead­ers and is not linked to po­lit­i­cal par­ties or unions.

Started as a protest against high fuel prices, the move­ment has mor­phed into a fight for so­cial jus­tice and more di­rect democ­racy. Sev­eral demon­stra­tions have de­gen­er­ated into vi­o­lent clashes with po­lice.

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