The French government drops a bill banning the shooting of police officers | France


The French government has abandoned a controversial security bill that would have restricted the right to film police officers in action after growing opposition and mass protests against it.
“The bill will be completely rewritten and a new version will be submitted,” Christophe Castaner, leader of President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling party in the French parliament, told a press conference on Monday.

Tens of thousands of people in cities across France demonstrated against the bill on Saturday, with dozens injured in clashes with police in Paris.

The bill was passed by the National Assembly earlier in November, although it still needs Senate approval.

One of its most controversial elements is Article 24, which seeks to criminalize the publication of images of police officers on duty with the aim of harming their “physical or psychological integrity”.

Under this article, offenders face sentences of up to one year in prison and fines of 45,000 euros ($ 53,760) for sharing images of police officers.

The demonstrators called for the article to be withdrawn, saying it was in contradiction with “the fundamental public freedoms of our Republic”.

Media unions have also said they could give the green light to police to prevent journalists – and social media users – from documenting the abuse.

The controversy was escalated by a video showing the beatings and racial abuse of a black man last week.

The case of Michel Zecler has shocked France, with celebrities and politicians condemning the actions of the officers.

Last Friday, Macron called the incident an “unacceptable attack” and called on the government to come up with proposals to “fight discrimination”.

Images of Zecler’s beating emerged days after police were already under fire for the forcible relocation of a migrant camp in central Paris, where journalists on the ground recorded brutality policewomen.

On Monday, a Parisian examining magistrate charged four police officers with assault by a person in public authority in connection with the assault on Zecler. Three were also charged with fabricating their statement about the incident.


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