World News – UK – French Parliament votes through law restricting police identification

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French Prime Minister Jean Castex speaks to MPs during a question time to the government at the National Assembly in Paris on November. 24, 2020.

A bill that under certain circumstances would make it a crime to distribute a picture of a police officer cleared the first hurdle in the French parliament on Tuesday despite protests from right-wing activists and journalists.

Opponents say the law, which is being steered through Parliament by tenacious Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin, would undermine journalists’ freedom to cover public events and make it more difficult to hold officials accountable for excessive violence apply.

Supporters say the proposed law is designed to protect officials and their families from being trolled and harassed or attacked online when they are not on duty.

Under the plans, anyone convicted of promoting the image of a police officer with intent to cause harm could be jailed for one year and fined 45. 000 euros can be used. .

Although the bill was proposed by two legislators from the centrist party La République en Marche (LaRem) by President Emmanuel Macron, 10 LaRem MPs voted against and 30 abstained. Of LaRem allies MoDem, five MPs voted against and 18 abstained.

After days of often tense debate, the bill received 388 votes in favor, 104 against and 66 abstentions, with the conservative Les Republicains and the far right Rassemblement National largely voting against with LaRem and all left parties.

Prime Minister Jean Castex told Parliament that the government is not aiming at freedom of the press, but wants to protect the police.

« The aim is not to prevent anyone from filming or broadcasting pictures that shed light on a fact or a public event, » said Castex, who will be holding talks with journalists’ unions this week.

Alluding to the opposition, Castex said the government would take the bill to the Constitutional Council to see if it was in line with the Constitution. Opposition parties often appeal to the council over controversial bills.

The French Senate, controlled by the conservative opposition, will vote on the bill in January. He can then return to Parliament for the final vote.

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French Parliament, Prime Minister of France, Law, France, Emmanuel Macron

World News – UK – French Parliament votes through law restricting police identification

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