The French capital Paris witnessed on Saturday a new demonstration in protest against a number of articles of the “Comprehensive Security” bill.
The demonstrators took to the streets at the invitation of a team that includes representatives of a number of press unions, indicating in a statement that France has been witnessing for nearly three months protests against the “Comprehensive Security” bill.
The French police use drones during protests and the prohibition of filming the work of security personnel.
The protests, including those punctuated by clashes between demonstrators and police officers, began in France in November of last year, after the National Assembly (the lower chamber of parliament) adopted, in the first reading, the draft “Comprehensive Security” bill.
The Article 24 imposes prison sentences of up to one year and a fine of 45,000 euros as a penalty for publishing pictures of faces or other components of identity for police and gendarmerie personnel while performing their duties “with the aim of harming their physical or mental integrity.”
Press unions oppose this article, fearing that its application would seriously harm freedom of expression by preventing journalists and ordinary citizens from photographing security personnel during demonstrations.
The French government has repeatedly stressed that the bill will not prevent journalists from filming security personnel.
As a result of the nationwide protests, the authorities offered the National Assembly a review of Article 24 to reassure press unions.
Paris police took 142 people into custody at what quickly became a tense and sometimes ill-tempered protest Saturday against proposed security laws, with officers wading into the crowds of several thousand to haul away suspected trouble-makers.
Police targeted protesters they suspected might coalesce together into violent groups like those who vandalized stores and vehicles at previous demonstrations.
The interior minister said police detained 142 people. Long lines of riot officers and police vehicles with blue lights flashing escorted Saturday’s march through rain-slickened streets. They hemmed in protesters, seeking to prevent the flare-up of violence that marked many previous demonstrations.