French security forces fire teargas at press freedom protesters

French security forces have fired teargas at protesters marching against police violence in Paris after masked activists launched fireworks at their lines, put up barricades and threw stones.

Thousands of people across France gathered in support of press freedom after film of police beating a black music producer fanned anger about a draft law that is seen as curbing the right of journalists to report on police brutality.

Jean Castex, the prime minister, has announced that an independent commission will examine and rewrite the controversial article 24.

In Paris, protesters set street furniture on fire and clashed with police as they tried to block access to some streets.

In Lille, Rennes, Strasbourg and other cities thousands more protested against the draft bill, which would criminalise the publication of images of police officers under certain circumstances.

Many carried placards with slogans such as: “Who will protect us from the police?”, “Stop police violence” and “Democracy bludgeoned”.

The journalists’ organisations and civil liberty groups that organised the marches were joined by extreme-left militants, environmental activists and yellow vest protesters who have been protesting against government policies for two years.

Several “black block” groups, who fought with police and smashed shop windows during the yellow vest protests, also took part.


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