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France Passes New Bill Prohibiting Taking Pictures or Videos of Police Officers

France Passes New Bill Prohibiting Taking Pictures or Videos of Police Officers

France recently passed a bill that prohibits the public from taking photos or videos of the police. The photos or videos of the police must not be publicized on social media except for features that will make the identification of public servants are blurred. When this law is broken, it will attract three years of imprisonment or a fine of 45,000 Euros, CNN reports.

This action was taken when police from the anti-terrorism department complained of being harassed on social media. However, the passing of this bill has sparked unrest among citizens of France and other international bodies. France is one of the leading countries at the forefront of democracy and protection of human rights, and the recent turn of events was not expected.

The United Nations, France’s Independent Defender of Rights, and Amnesty International all voiced their displeasure against this global-security bill. This is because most cases of police brutality that were brought to light all depended on the photos and videos of the injustice as evidence.

However, the passing of this bill seems to have emboldened the police as they arrested 33 people among those who took to the streets of France to protest against the bill for questioning. The media considers this bill as an affront on free speech and press freedom – orchestrated by the government. This conclusion came after the government accused English-language news outlets of reports supporting the ongoing violence.

France is now against liberty which is part of their motto since the police are now exempted from being accountable to citizens or the press. According to the president of Amnesty International France, “If people cannot film anything in the streets when the police may have an illegal use of force, it’s a very worrying message to send.”

Citizens are expected to allow themselves to be filmed under the pretense that they have nothing to hide if they are innocent. But the police may not be filmed, which is supposed to be a norm in every democracy in the world.

The police defending the bill said it is important since police officers are facing harassment on social media. They also added that the bill doesn’t interrupt journalists in carrying out their duty. The bill has now been pushed to the National Assembly for votes to determine its fate.


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