“There is clearly a tension of the police against the media,” told AFP a journalist who came last Saturday to cover the protests of Yellow Jackets in Toulouse with two other colleagues, one of whom has been “deliberately” targeted by the police and injured.
Three photographers who covered last Saturday the demonstration of Yellow Jackets in Toulouse said they were “deliberately” targeted by law enforcement. AFP reported on Sunday that one of them was wounded in the thigh by a grenade.
“If I show this wound, it is to denounce a deliberate attack by law enforcement against the press,” wrote on his Facebook page Valentin Belleville, an independent photographer at the Hans Lucas agency.
Valentin Belleville, posting a picture of his thigh on his Facebook account (© CC / Facebook / ValentinBelleville)
The tension was very noticeable Saturday afternoon on the Capitol Square in Toulouse, between the protesters descended to the number of thousands on the streets for the act 13 of the mobilization of Yellow Jackets, testifies the press. In the projectile jets of some of them, the police responded with the use of water cannon and fake bullets.
“We were all three completely isolated. The demonstrators were 50 meters behind, there was no danger for the police. I am closest to the police, my colleagues are right behind me. We wear helmets stamped “Presse”, armbands, our devices are imposing and visible”, said Valentin Belleville.
However, the three reporters decided “to get out of the demonstrators not to be between the police and them,” told AFP Ulrich Lebeuf, Liberation photographer in Toulouse, who was with Valentin Belleville and another colleague, Eric Lerbret.
“A grenade” exploded at the feet of Valentin Belleville, the agency said, adding that Ulrich Lebeuf, who has been a photo reporter for 20 years, identified it as “a de-encircling grenade.”
For Eric Lerbret, the third photographer, there is “no doubt” that they were targeted. “We are aware of the risks we are taking in covering these events, but our responsibility stops when we are deliberately targeted,” he told AFP. He regretted that photographers and videographers are more and more affected “in a context of escalating violence”.
“I ask for explanations. Why were identified journalists targeted? One clearly feels a tension of the forces of the order towards the media, those who make images,” said Ulrich Lebeuf.
The three photographers claimed to have reported to the General Inspection of the National Police (IGPN) and added that they would file a complaint.
Axel Nunes, IEJ 2C
Young Théo, hospitalized following a violent police check, decided not to stay at the hospital, no longer supporting the atmosphere that reigned there. His wound has not yet recovered.
Since February 2nd, the 22-year-old young man was bedridden at the Robert Ballanger hospital, in Aulnay-Sous-Bois. It was in this Parisian suburb, that he underwent aggravated violence by police officers during a check. After his arrest, a police officer noticed his wound when he arrived at the police station. Afterwards, the doctors found an anal tear of 10 cm, and declared a 2-months full recovery for Theo.
The young man, now home, released a thank you video to all those who supported him, family, friends, and also all the anonymous.
France- On Wednesday 26th, while police trade unions were invited to meet the President at the Elysées Palace, police officers are still on march, in order to protest against some defense issues. Ten days after the first movement of police demonstration, police officers are still on strike. The President receives today a trade union in the afternoon, in order to calm down police indignations. A small minority of police officers, who are not taking part in the unions, are still claiming new measures.
It all started on the 8th October : Molotov cocktail attack on two police cars left one 28-year-old officer fighting for his life. Two of the officers were rushed to hospital with “major burns”. Since this incident and other massive protests, police officers proceed to strike and to demonstrate in a silent protest.
Nowadays, Police officers are no longer silent and peaceful. They demand new measures.
On one hand, the police wants more security during their work time. On another hand, according to the main trade union, they must beg for “a correction of the legal framework in the use of weapons”, ” setting up the mandatory sentencing for agressors of police forces members and security forces”.
The Elysées declared their “support” to police protestors but they must find a solution as soon as possible. The French Interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, agreed at once to an “urgent meeting” which will take place on Wednesday 26th October, trade unions and police officers will know soon the definitive answer.
Laura Afonso Almeida, IEJ Groupe 3F2
In Marseilles, France, this morning, a shooting burst out making 2 deaths and one injured. The shots, which woke the local residents, were a result of a conflict between two cars, each carrying four people on board. Both victims as well as the wounded man occupied the same car. The other car was found burned several kilometers farther with nobody on board.
The Police favors the track of the settling of scores between suburbs bands in a city marked by it for several years. The fourth passenger of the car was found unhurt. All the four men were known by police services. The brother of one of the victims was shot down in 2012. That is why the police favors the theory of vengeance.
The public prosecutor of Marseilles, Mr. Brice Robin, announced that this new shooting could have a link with the one which took place a few weeks ago and where two teenagers had been killed in a building. The track of a new settling of scores connected to the crime had not been favored by the investigators at that time.
The scene which occurred this morning was filmed by security cameras and the police is at present leaning on this visual testimony to understand better what happened.
Marko MARICIC, IEJ 3F