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Police tear gas Parisian protesters after tens of thousands demonstrate against new law that bans filming police

Maya Oppenheim
·2-min read
<p>Journalists and human rights groups have raised concerns the proposed legislation would gravely breach press freedom to shine a light on police brutality</p> (Getty Images)

Journalists and human rights groups have raised concerns the proposed legislation would gravely breach press freedom to shine a light on police brutality

(Getty Images)

Protesters have been tear gassed by the police after tens of thousands took to the streets across France in protest against a controversial new law which makes filming or photographing the police a criminal offence.

Journalists and human rights groups have raised concerns the proposed legislation gravely breaches the media and general public’s ability to keep a record of police brutality.

The law that curbs sharing photos of officers, which gained the backing of the lower house of parliament last week but needs to be upheld by the senate, would punish transgressors with up to a year in jail and a hefty fine of €45,000 (£40,445).

Clashes between police and protesters erupted after some demonstrators hurled fireworks at police. Dozens of protesters were arrested at the demo against police brutality.

Critics say they are fearful about the new law as it follows years of the police adopting increasingly heavy-handed tactics and police violence urging - with many journalists and demonstrators having been hurt during demos.

Ameer Alhalbi, an award-winning freelance photographer, was left injured while reporting on Saturday’s protest. The 24-year-old’s face looked like it had been bruised with bandages covering some of his head in photos.

Christophe Deloire, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders, said the photojournalist was hurt at Place de la Bastille by a police baton.

“Ameer came from Syria to France to take refuge, like several other Syrian journalists. The land of human rights should not threaten them, but protect them,” he tweeted.

The sizeable turnout at the protests may have been partially boosted by a clip which emerged on Thursday showing Parisian police attacking a black music producer.

Michel Zecler can be seen being kicked and punched at his Paris studio in a clip that has stirred anger across France. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, said the incident was both "unacceptable" and "shameful".

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