Sunday 26 May 2019

Welcome to the Orwellian world of the European Union

Eight journalists have been summoned for questioning by France’s domestic intelligence services, including five new summonses revealed Wednesday, prompting outcry from press freedom advocates.
Eight journalists, including a senior Le Monde reporter who last year broke the story of a top security aide to President Emmanuel Macron beating a May Day protester, have so far been summoned for questioning by France’s domestic intelligence services, according to Le Monde and other news outlets.

The president of Le Monde’s board of directors, Louis Dreyfus, was also summoned, according to the paper. The new summonses come after three other reporters were called in for questioning in April.

Senior Le Monde reporter Ariane Chemin, who broke the story that senior Macron security aide Alexandre Benallahad been filmed beating a protester while wearing a police helmet, was called in for questioning by the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) over her revelations in what became known as the Benalla affair, Le Monde’s editorial director Luc Bronner wrote in the paper Wednesday. The Élysée Palace faced accusations of covering up the incident by failing to report Benalla or demand his resignation, provoking one of the biggest scandals of the Macron presidency to date.
Chemin and Dreyfus were told by the DGSI to appear on May 29, Le Monde says. The investigation specifically concerns details the paper published about former air force officer Chokri Wakrim

A man was fined £90 for refusing to show his face to police trialling new facial recognition software. 

The man pulled his jumper up above his chin as he walked past Met Police officers trialling Live Facial Recognition software in east London. 

BBC cameras filmed as officers swooped on the man, told him to ‘wind his neck in’ then handed him the hefty penalty charge. 

A campaigner from Big Brother Watch – who were protesting the use of cameras on the day – was also filmed telling an officer: ‘I would have done the same.’ 

Police said they made three arrests thanks to the cameras on the day in question and a total of eight people, including two 14-year-old boys, were arrested during the course of the trial.

A British man is facing up to five years in prison for documenting police abuse of refugees in Calais.
Tom Ciotkowski, from Stratford upon Avon, was charged with contempt and assault in the region after he recorded and challenged a French police officer who had reportedly pushed another volunteer.
The 30-year-old, whose trial starts tomorrow at the Tribunal de Boulogne-sur-Mer in France, could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to €7,500 (£6,500).....
When he asked the officer for his identification number, the officer reportedly pushed him and he fell backwards over a concrete barrier separating the pavement from the road. 
Mr Ciotkowski was then arrested, put in custody for 36 hours and charged with contempt and assault, according to the campaign group.

RT France Correspondent Beaten By Police During Yellow Vest Protests

The incident occurred on Saturday, when French activists gathered in different cities in France for the 28th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests. According to French media estimations, some 3,200 people were participating in yellow vest protests across France.

RT France correspondent Frederic Aigouy was beaten by police in the French city of Toulouse at Yellow Vest protests, despite his efforts to identify himself as a journalist, the correspondent wrote in Twitter. He uploaded a video that shows a police officer allegedly advancing toward him, with a subtitle saying that French law enforcement assaulted him, even though he was identified as press.
Earlier in May RIA Novosti correspondent Viktoriya Ivanova was hit with a baton by the police while covering unrest during the May Day demonstrations in the French capital.
Despite the fact that she wore "Press" badges on her arm and helmet, the police still assaulted her, hitting her in the head and arms.
"I was taken away by volunteer medics who asked me whether I needed help. The helmet rescued me from serious injuries, but my arm hurts," Ivanova said at the time.
The journalist has been sent to the hospital with a swollen arm with obvious traces of the police baton. 
The Russian Foreign Ministry, reacting to the incident, called on France to carry out a thorough investigation into the attack, highlighting that it considers "unacceptable the use of violence against journalists carrying out their professional duties."
The yellow vests rallies first began in France in November 2018 over planned hikes in fuel taxes. Later the French government abandoned its plans to raise fuel taxes and introduced other measures to improve the country's socioeconomic situation. However, protesters continued to gather for rallies across France every weekend to express their discontent with the government's policies.   

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