France to ‘rewrite’

France to ‘rewrite’ controversial police bill

PARIS (Reuters): The French government has dropped a controversial bill that would have curbed the right to film police officers in action, the speaker of French President Macron’s ruling party has said.

“The bill will be completely rewritten and a new version will be submitted,” Christophe Castaner, head of the LaRem party in the French parliament told a news conference.

“We know that questions still persist” about the measure, part of new legislation passed by the National Assembly last week, Castaner said at a press conference alongside other lawmakers.

Rights campaigners and journalists organisations staged street protests in Paris and other French cities against the proposed security bill that they say would be a violation of the freedom of information.

Saturday’s protests were called by Reporters without Borders, Amnesty International France, the Human Rights League, journalists’ unions, and other groups.

The proposed measure could create a new criminal offence of publishing ima-ges of police officers with the intent to cause them harm. Macron’s government previously said it is intended to protect police officers from online calls for violence.

Critics feared that the measure could endanger journalists and other people who take videos of officers at work, especially during violent demonstrations.

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