Proposed law on publishing police images sparks protests across France

Thousands of people took to the streets in Paris and other French cities Saturday at the urging of civil liberties campaigners and journalist groups to protest a proposed security law they say would impinge on freedom of information and media rights.

Pending legislation in France's parliament would create a new criminal offence for publishing images of police officers with intent to cause them harm. Offenders would face a maximum penalty of up to one year in prison and a €45,000 fine (about $69,000 Cdn).

The government said the proposal is intended to protect police officers from online calls for violence. Critics fear that, if enacted, the measure would endanger journalists and other observers who take videos of officers at work, especially during violent demonstrations.

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