For the third week … Demonstrations in France against a law “restricting freedom of the press”

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday for the third consecutive week in the streets of Paris and other French cities against a law they consider “restricting freedoms.”

The demonstrations, which were called by a group of trade unions, associations, and left-wing political movements, witnessed intense security deployment, especially in Paris, to avoid repeating the violence recorded in the previous two demonstrations.

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday for the third consecutive week in the streets of Paris and other French cities against a law they consider “restricting freedoms.”

The demonstrations, which were called by a group of trade unions, associations, and left-wing political movements, witnessed intense security deployment, especially in Paris, to avoid repeating the violence recorded in the previous two demonstrations.
According to the organizers, about 60,000 people gathered throughout France, while the Ministry of the Interior estimated their number at 26,417 protesters.

In Paris, the security forces imposed a cordon around thousands of demonstrators (10,000 according to the organizers, and 5,000 according to the Ministry of the Interior), and arrested about 150 of them.

The wave of arrests sparked tension among the Parisian march participants, but no serious incident was recorded.

In Lyon, the police estimated the number of protesters at about two thousand and used tear gas in response to projectiles fired at them from the demonstrators.

On the night of the north of the country, tear gas canisters were fired to disperse the demonstrators at the end of the march.

At least a thousand demonstrators gathered in Montpellier, Marseille, Toulouse in the south of the country, and Strasbourg in the east.

Behind a giant banner that read: “Stop laws that eradicate freedoms, stop Islamophobia,” Parisian protesters denounced the text of the bill and the police violence, chanting the slogan “Everyone hates the police.”

Weeks ago, the bill, which the National Assembly adopted, has drawn sharp criticism from the left, journalists, and human rights NGOs.

Article 24 is one of the most controversial provisions of the bill, as it stipulates up to one year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros (54,000 dollars) for anyone convicted of publishing pictures that show the faces of police officers or allow identification of them in a way that harms their “physical or psychological integrity.”. ”

Opponents of the bill argue that the text limits freedom of the press, freedom of expression and protest, and establishes “collective surveillance.”

These concerns were reinforced after a recording showing two black musician police officers being beaten on 21 November.

In the face of severe criticism of Article 24, the government left Parliament to find a new formulation of the article, noting that the bill will be presented to the Senate in January.

In early December, French President Emmanuel Macron sought to calm down by denouncing the violence practiced by some police officers and that which the security forces are subjected to.

On Saturday, the demonstrators expressed their opposition to another article in the bill. Some leftists considered “stigmatizing Muslims” as part of the authorities’ efforts to strengthen the fight against extremism against the backdrop of the killing of teacher Samuel Patti in a terrorist attack.

France
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