Is French Article 24 a License for Police Brutality?

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Demonstrations in Paris to Stop Global Security

by Jane Rosenstein

Valerie Suara (Parisian resident contributor)

 

Protesters throwing Canisters after tear gas

On Saturday, December 5, 2020  4600 protesters against a  France’s new  Global Security law marched from Porte de Lilas to the Place de la Republique. This demonstration had less people than the previous Saturday when 5500  people marched. There were also demonstrations in other cities including Lille, Marseilles and Toulouse.

Several subway stations were closed by the order of the police and that made shopping difficult for some people.We can see from the photos that the demonstrators, while wearing masks, were not practicing any social distancing.There were people smashing windows  of banks, shops and other places and breaking objects. Six cars and one truck were burned. The police hurled tear gas at the breakers.

A photographer took a photo which appears that the police were burned by fire but actually it was from some tear gas they dispersed on the crowd.

The demonstration came soon after a Black music producer, Michel Zechan was beaten on November 26,2020 by police because he wasn’t wearing a mask.

He entered his premises fast to avoid the 135 Euro fine for not wearing a mask and was followed into his premises by policemen. He cried for help and those downstairs came to his rescue and chased the policemen out.He said that thanks to photos taken by the public and put on the social media  3 policeman were taken into custody by the police for harming him. A fourth policemen threw teargas into the building.  Michel Zechan sustained several wounds.

The protesters are demanding a re write of Article 24 which inflicts a penalty of one year of prison and a fine of 45,000 Euros for publishing, no matter how, of the face or other identification with negative commentary of police and gendarmarie ( the service of the French army which has police to protect the security and is under the Minister of the Interior).

 

When will there be a Vaccine against Police Violence?

The  bill for rewriting this law passed the National Assembly on November 24, 2020 with a vote of 388 for and 104 against the rewriting  and it must go to the Senat in January. “Articles 21 and 22 of the proposed “global security” law allow the police and the gendarmes (paramilitary forces) to use body cameras and drones to film citizens, and allow the recorded footage to be livestreamed to the command post.” The Indian  Express

The controversial portion, Article 24, prohibits taking photos of police in the line of duty and disseminating those images online and in the media. Violators can face up to a  year-prison sentence of up to one year  and a €45,000 ($53,800) fine. The bill is scheduled to go to  the the Senat in January for examination.

Macron’s party feels that Article 24 protects the police and their families from being exposed due to photos.

Journalists, news organizations and human rights groups denounced the bill as an attack on freedom of expression,

A middle aged lady in line at the post office told me that she marched Saturday in the demonstration and that Article 24 is in violation of the Constitution of France.

The demonstrators think that this law is an infringement of freedom.

Reporters Without Borders’ secretary-general, Christophe Deloire, tweeted that al-Halbi had been wounded by “a police baton” at the Place de la Bastille even though he was clearly identifiable as a journalist /photographer.

 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,” Cecile Coudriou, president of Amnesty International France, told CNN.

Bills against Global Security are impeding freedom of the press.

 

 

 

 

Author Details
Jane Rosenstein is a U.S. citizen living in Paris, France. She is a professional translator/interpreter. She is the owner of The International Connection which does international marketing consultation including sales of wine, interpretation, and translation. She enjoys the cultural life that living in Paris offers and has talents in organizing events. She speaks English, French, and Spanish. She has a B.S. degree in mathematics from University of Pittsburgh and an M.B.A. degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.
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3 COMMENTS

  1. George Orwell in 1984 said-
    “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past” and State Power combined with policing reached a new stage of control over three critical administrative functions under ‘The Sun King’ Louis XIV of France – use of armed force, formulation and execution of laws, and collection and expenditure of revenue. Any sign of revolt and Louis would immediately send in his police or army.
    In the Louvre there is an Etruscan pendant with swastika symbols from Bolsena, Italy, 700–650 BC.
    In Hinduism, the right-facing symbol (卐) is called swastika, symbolizing surya (‘sun’),
    The right-facing swastika (卐) was adopted by the Nazi Party.
    The Hurrians (Aryans) were an Aryan Vedic royal-sacral family of gods connected with the House of David described as the first Hindus. Jehovah’s ancient symbol was the swastika.
    The earliest Obelisks were known as ‘benben’ stones.
    The Hindu triumvirate, Shiva Linga/Shakti Yoni,  ‘Baal’s shaft’ and BigBen. Capitoline Triad and Capitol Hill. Shiva at CERN.
    Louis XIV said “I am the State”. He believed in the divine right of kings and expensive foreign wars that crippled France.
    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  2. In the US, we have a burgeoning movement called Auditors. These are largely veterans who understand the law and how police misuse their position to interrogate and search people without probable cause under our laws. This already is having an affect, wherein police with proper ethics are gaining courage to do the right thing, and those who aren’t, are halted many times by the presence of cameras. It is also notifying businesses and local governments of 1rst amendment exercise, and proper filming. We do not need press credentials to film police.
    France, would be well advised to maintain the ability to film police. We are currently providing examples to each other. If there is nothing to hide, Police have no reason to be afraid of cameras.

  3. As I’ve always said, strikes in France are a national sport. Of course, it is necessary to react to bad laws. I just don’t like that they burn hundreds of cars of ordinary citizens. By the way, there is a moment in the video when Russian is heard in the crowd. Most likely reporters or streamers.

Comments are closed.