Crime & Justice

Controversial French law to limit filming of police to be redrafted

Paris, Nov 30 (efe-epa).- French lawmakers will redraft a controversial law proposal that would restrict the filming of police officers, a measure that sparked widespread and occasionally violent protests over the weekend.

Christophe Castaner, the head of La Republique En Marche’s parliamentary group, the party of President Emmanuel Macron, confirmed Monday that he would submit a new redraft of article 24 of the global security law.

The lower house of parliament recently passed the law, sending the debate to the senate but the move sparked immediate criticism from human rights and free press groups.

Article 24 of the proposed law would make it a crime to share footage of identifiable police officers deemed to have the intention of causing “physical or psychological” harm.

Castaner, who was interior minister until July, led a conference with the heads of parties in parliament to discuss the proposed security law.

“We are aware of persistent doubts,” Castaner said.

He went on to insist that the text in its current form did not seek to limit freedom of the press or freedom of expression but rather to prevent images that include the personal information of police officers from being shared online.

Castaner said the “balance” the government had tried to strike in the text “had not been perceived unanimously.”

The conference with lawmakers took place following a meeting with Macron and the prime minister, Jean Castex.

Saturday’s protest against the regulation gathered 133,000 people throughout France and 46,000 demonstrators in Paris alone, according to the interior ministry, although organizers put the figures at 500,000 and 200,000 respectively.

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