UNITED KINGDOM: French publisher Ernest Moret arrested by British police in London

Extract from joint press release by Éditions La Fabrique and Verso Books on 18/04/2023 – accessible here.

Ernest came to London yesterday evening 17 April by Eurostar for the London Book Fair, which takes place at Olympia over 3 days from 18-20 April. Ernest had over thirty appointments planned with foreign publishers and had a return ticket to Paris for Friday 21 April. He is invited to the reception this evening at the French Institute at which the French Ambassador will be present. 

On arrival at St Pancras Station, Ernest was pulled aside by police officers acting under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and detained for questioning without a lawyer present, allegedly to determine whether he was engaged in terrorist acts or in possession of material for use in terrorism.

The police officers claimed that Ernest had participated in demonstrations in France as a justification for this act – a quite remarkably inappropriate statement for a British police officer to make and which seems to clearly indicate complicity between French and British authorities on this matter.

It was demanded that he give up his phone and pass codes to the officers, with no justification or explanation offered. This morning, Ernest was formally arrested and transferred to a police station, accused of obstruction because of his refusal to give up his pass codes. He remains in police custody.