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Demonstrations held in France against planned security law

dpa
Paris
Several thousand people demonstrated against a planned security law in France on Saturday, with protests taking place in Paris, Lille and Montpellier. The draft legislation, which was passed in part by the National Assembly in a first reading on Friday evening, provides for a penalty for disseminating pictures of security forces.
Journalists’ associations and civil rights organizations had called for the protests. They fear massive interference with the freedom of the press. The final vote on the plans is expected early next week.
For weeks there has been strong criticism of Article 24 of the planned “global security law,” which is supposed to protect the police.
Protests broke out in Paris on Tuesday because of the plans, which, according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and police unions, are to serve “to protect those who protect.” Several journalists were detained for a short time.
If the new law is passed, the publication of pictures of security officers in action with the aim of injuring the physical or mental well-being of the police officers can be punished with up to one year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros (53,400 dollars). Also controversial is an article that stipulates that the security forces may carry their weapons when they are not on duty in a public building.
The measure was included in the draft law because the bloody terrorist attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris in November 2015, which left 90 dead, included three police officers who were unable to intervene.

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