Over 300 media organisations, journalists, photographers, and others have signed a letter denouncing the sometimes brutal violence used against members of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement and members of the press themselves in France.
The letter claims that press freedom in France has been suffering for years but entered a new phase following the start of the Yellow Vest protests in November of last year, Franceinfo reports.
“All these forms of violence have physical (injury), psychic (trauma) or financial (broken or confiscated equipment) consequences. We are personally and professionally denigrated and criminalized,” they wrote, and added that journalist David Dufresne had counted at least 698 cases of people being attacked or injured by police at the protests, including 85 journalists.
The signatories also complained of police demanding press cards, something not always available to independent journalists, saying, “As a reminder, journalism is not a regulated profession. It is not the press card that justifies our profession or not.”
“That is why we demand that the government take the necessary measures so that law enforcement agencies stop harassing us and let us work freely,” they added.
French Police Caught on Tape Saying to ‘Shoot’ Yellow Vests https://t.co/jfLElQwfZm
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 4, 2019
The issue of police violence towards members of the Yellow Vests has sparked concern from others, including medical professionals, who previously said they had never seen so many serious injuries, some of which have included lost hands and eyes, during a protest movement.
Earlier this week, one 19-year-old young woman was so badly injured by police during a protest in Marseille on December 8th that she has now filed attempted murder charges against the officers, saying she was hit by a rubber bullet and then brutally beaten by plainclothes officers as she lay on the ground.
According to the 19-year-old, she had only just left her retail job for the day before the assault and has been so badly injured that it took her four months to be able to return to her job.
Macron Hopes Old Woman Injured in Police Charge Gains ‘Wisdom’, ‘Fragile’ People Should Avoid Prohibited Areas https://t.co/Ig7t1Vb1ij
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 25, 2019
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com