French President’s Party Agrees to Modify ’Security’ Law After Mass Protests
Story Code : 901066
More than 133,000 people took part in several rallies across France against the draft “security” law, which the protesters believe is designed to cover up police brutality, on Saturday.
A provision in the draft law known as article 24 would vaguely criminalize the publication of images of on-duty police officers with an “obvious intention to harm,” making it an offense punishable by a year in prison and a 45,000-euro fine.
Rights groups and citizens said the bill in its current form would be used to target anyone who happens to record potential police misconduct.
“We propose a new version of article 24 and a new version will be submitted,” Christophe Castaner, head of Macron’s Republic on the Move [LaRem] Party in the lower house of the parliament, said at a press conference on Monday.
“We acknowledge that there are doubts, that some people consider that the right to inform is under threat... That is why it is necessary to clarify it,” Castaner added.
Castaner’s remarks came after Macron held an emergency meeting with leaders of his parliamentary majority and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on the plan at the Elysee palace earlier on Monday.
According to officials, the new version of article 24 will be submitted at a later date.
But it was unclear when. The legislation was passed by the lower house of the French parliament last week and has been sent to the Senate, where the conservatives, and not Macron’s party, have a majority.
The Saturday protests came amid public anger over footage showing three police officers beating and racially abusing a black man inside his own music studio.