This is a rare arrest in France, as in most Western European countries. independent journalist Arianne Lavrilleux He was arrested on Tuesday morning and held at a police station in Marseille for nearly two days. Despite her airs Wednesday nightThis case sparked outrage in the neighboring country, especially in the journalism industry. It has revived the debate about the frayed relations that the Government of Emmanuel Macron maintains with a significant part of information professionals. reprimanded for revealing information public interest and was beaten by the police in many demonstrations.
Lavrilleux’s arrest took place within the framework of a criminal investigation carried out by French intelligence services due to a series of articles by this correspondent published in the investigative media Disclose. In it he made a number of statements regarding the participation of French secret agents in the operation. Sirli military operation in EgyptRegarding the sale of 30 Rafale aircraft to the Egyptian regime Abdel Fattá al Sisi French war equipment to Russia It is used in the war in Ukraine or in the arms trade with Saudi Arabia. All this work earned Lavrilleux a nomination for the Albert London Prize in 2022, the most prestigious journalism award in the neighboring country.
“I’m after the journalist”
Despite this, the French prosecutor’s office launched an investigation against Lavrilleux and Disclose in August 2022. Breach of defense confidentiality. This is a punishable offense in France. Up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of 75,000 euros. The internal security agency (DGSI) is handling the case. In addition to the 39-hour detention, security forces also inspected the journalist’s home. “Nine agents from the intelligence services and judges, who are normally responsible for anti-terrorism investigations, came to my house,” Lavrilleux said at a press conference held this Thursday at the headquarters of the NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in Paris.
The reporter criticized the way they treated her as if she were a girl. “guilty” just because he was doing his job as an investigative reporter. “Normally they are dedicated to preventing attacks. These bright minds Mobilized for months to persecute a journalist, sources (…). This is an extreme violation of freedom of information and protection of journalistic sources,” complained Lavrilleux, who also collaborates with the digital newspaper Media sectionMagazine Le Point and radio stations RFI And From right to left. The judges also questioned one person other than him. retired militaryWho can be blamed?
RSF condemned the “exceptional procedure”. “These interventions represent a serious violation of the principle of confidentiality of sources,” he complained in a statement. Journalist organizations and left-wing groups held rallies in support of the detained journalist on Wednesday. The Socialist Party regretted that this arrest took place “in a context”. General decline in press freedom in France.
Macron’s complicated relationship with journalists
Beyond the well-publicized case of Julian Assange, which was cracked down very harshly by the US and UK over Wikileaks revelations in 2010, it is rare in Western European countries for journalists to be arrested for providing information in the public interest. The more common ones are: warning rampsLike the exiled Edward Snowden or Portuguese Rui Pinto (for Football Leaks), he has been threatened with harsh legal penalties for his leaks. French secret services already They interrogated three more people in 2019 journalists explain For statements about the use of French weapons in the Yemen war.
But the Lavrilleux case was perceived in many French newsrooms as the final straw in the deterioration of freedom of information in France, a country known for the plurality and quality of its media during Macron’s presidency. “The arrest of Arianne Lavrilleux is far from an isolated incident. “An endless list of press freedom violations that have continued to increase since 2017”This week he criticized journalist Ellen Salvi: Media sectionTracking presidential news between 2017 and 2022.
Although he has presented himself as a “liberal” leader and his emergence in 2017 was supported by good-faith treatment from much of the media, Macron’s arrival at the Elysée coincided with restrictions on journalists covering presidential and government news. Since then, the desire to put corporate communications ahead of journalistic information has prevailed. These were common Call from ministers to the media or complaints against (or threats about) media leaking sensitive (but also less relevant) information, such as the Benalla case. “Attacks on press freedom have increased in recent years, especially during Macron’s presidency,” the detained journalist condemned.
James Sean is a writer for “Social Bites”. He covers a wide range of topics, bringing the latest news and developments to his readers. With a keen sense of what’s important and a passion for writing, James delivers unique and insightful articles that keep his readers informed and engaged.