Paris (dpa) – After massive protests against controversial security law and police brutality, the government majority in France has succumbed.
The ruling factions in the House of Representatives announced on Monday after a crisis meeting in the Élysée Palace in Paris that they wanted to reformulate a particularly sharply criticized article of the security law. This article is intended to limit the publication of recordings of police operations. French President Emmanuel Macron had previously urged the government unusually hard to come forward with proposals to restore the relationship of trust between the police and the people of the country.
“We are going to propose a complete overhaul of Article 24,” said Christophe Castaner, leader of the La République en Marche (LREM) presidential party in the National Assembly, after the meeting with Macron. According to reports, this had previously hosted Prime Minister Jean Castex, the Minister of the Interior and Justice and the leaders of the majority parliamentary groups in the Elysée Palace. There was initially no confirmation for this. Ex-Interior Minister Castaner now stressed that the lack of public and journalists’ understanding of the text was noted. You know there are still doubts.
Authorities said more than 100,000 people across the country took to the streets over the weekend – including demonstrating against security law. According to the government, the bill should better protect the police. Critics, however, see freedom of the press at risk. Videos of aggressive police operations on the net fueled the debate. Security camera footage of the brutal crackdown on a music producer and the aggressive evacuation of a refugee camp caused outrage.
The National Assembly even approved the security law last week. It is now the turn of the Senate, the Senate, to vote on the text. Controversial Section 24 of the Act states that the publication of photos of security officers in action with the aim of harming the physical or mental integrity of the police officers is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros. can.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had repeatedly defended the law and had come under pressure during the debate. Individual MPs recently called for the article to be scrapped completely. “French society has never been more divided than it is now, and Article 24 contributes to this,” said Pierre Person, LREM MP, of the newspaper “Le Parisien”.
On the night before a National Assembly committee, Darmanin defended the work of the police in the country. He did not rule out structural problems. However, he does not believe in a split between the population and the police. But you have to make people understand the difficulties of the police, he said. Darmanin expressed confidence in the Parisian police prefect Didier Lallement, who is under criticism. “He is in charge of one of the most difficult posts in France.”
The judiciary has now started an investigation against four security forces for the brutal police operation against the music producer. Two were taken into custody and two were placed under judicial supervision. The attacked music producer’s lawyer said she was “satisfied” on Franceinfo. She pointed out the special importance of videos in investigating police brutality. Darmanin said in committee that when he first saw the videos, he initially thought “they weren’t real police officers.”
In contrast, some police unions judged the judiciary’s decision, especially with regard to pre-trial detention, as too harsh. It is hoped that this was not due to media pressure and that only the elements of the case were taken into account, Thierry Clair of the Unsa police union told the broadcaster.