FRANCE: Journalists Covering the G7 Summit Victims of Abusive Police Confiscations and Controls

Council of Europe issued an alert on what happened while G7 was taking place in Biarritz, France concerning threats on media freedom.
Several journalists present in Biarritz and Bayonne to cover the G7 summit on 24 and 25 August 2019 were subjected to abusive police controls and arbitrary confiscation of work equipment. Some of them were prevented from covering police operations against anti-G7 demonstrators. As early as 24 August, in Petit Bayonne, the police forces arbitrarily confiscated, without issuing official certificate, the protective equipment (helmets, gas masks, black jackets, swimming pool goggles, etc.) of some French and foreign journalists, including the Al Jazeera channel teams. Other journalists were able to access Petit Bayonne while keeping their protective equipment. In the afternoon of 24 August, some 20 journalists, kept at a distance by the police, were prevented from covering clashes between police and demonstrators.