NUJ Paris calls out Global Security Law

  • 04 Dec 2020

NUJ Paris branch joins with four French journalist unions in campaign opposing the new Global Security Law

In response to the French government announcing a rewrite of article 24 of the Global Security Law, our colleagues in the four French journalists unions are calling for the withdrawal of all the proposals in the law that could affect liberty and the work of the media. Trade unions and other civic society organisations have joined forces and called for further protests this Saturday.

More information is available on the Coordination Stop Loi Sécurité Globale website, which has has a copy of the derogation form that needs to be filled out by media workers planning to attend one of the events.

Several journalists were attacked while working covering events on 28 November, including at least one member of the NUJ. Some have been subjected to violence by the police. Others have not been able to identify their aggressors.

Following the NUJ Paris branch meeting last week, secretary Chris Myant issued the following statement to our four French sister unions:

"It is when governments say journalists should not do something that we know this is precisely what they should be doing. Using the law to directly, or indirectly, deter journalists from carrying out their responsibility to inform, to investigate and to publish is never acceptable.
"The content of the Global Security Law, as put before the French Parliament this autumn, alongside suggestions from the Minister of the Interior that journalists should in some way register with the police when seeking to cover events where public order issues may arise, runs counter to the basic rules of freedom of information and debate.
"The most certain guarantee of security for all in a democracy, members of the police services as well as members of the public in general, is free and honest reporting of events by the media. Where people, whatever their role, carry out their responsibilities correctly, they welcome media coverage. Existing laws in all our countries provide the relevant public authorities with adequate legal resources to deal with those who engage in incitement to hatred and violence.
"The branch in France of the National Union of Journalists of the UK and Ireland is formed of media professionals who live permanently in France. When covering public order events in recent years in France, some members of the branch have experienced violence and intimidation at the hands of the police. We join our colleagues in the four French journalists trade unions in calling on the government to recognise that restrictions on the right and the ability of all journalists to do their work will harm democracy and make peaceful debate that much harder."

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