A press freedom group denounced the “unacceptable” injury of an award-winning Syrian photojournalist during a protest in Paris against police brutality.
Ameer Alhalbi, a freelance photographer who worked for Polka Magazine and AFP, covered protests against police violence and the new government law limiting the sharing of images of officers over the weekend he was injured.
The photos show Alhalbi’s the face looks bruised with much of his head covered in bandages.
Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders, tweeted that the 24-year-old was injured in Place de la Bastille by “a police baton” and condemned the violence.
“Ameer came from Syria to France to take refuge, like several other Syrian journalists. The land of human rights must not threaten them, but protect them ”. he said in a second tweet.
Deloire also noted that Alhalbi had been clearly identified as a journalist.
Dimitri Beck, director of photography for Polka, said Alhalbi had a broken nose and injured forehead, and was taken to hospital.
Alhalbi has won several international awards, including second prize in the spot news category for World Press Photo in 2017, mainly for his coverage of the Syrian conflict in his hometown of Aleppo for AFP.
Thousands of people across France have rallied to support press freedom after the film of police beating up a black music producer stoked anger at a bill that is seen as restricting journalists’ rights to report on police brutality.
In Paris, demonstrators set fire to street furniture and clashed with the police as they tried to block access to certain streets. In Lille, Rennes, Strasbourg and other cities, thousands more protested against the bill.
Jean Castex, the Prime Minister, has announced that an independent commission will review and rewrite the controversial article of the bill.