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Nearly 150 arrested at Paris protest over security bill

December 12, 2020

The proposed legislation is aimed at combating "radical Islamism," which has sparked outrage in a number of cities across France. The interior minister has described some of the protesters as "thugs."

Protests in Paris
Protests against a proposed legislation in France turned violent on SaturdayImage: Bob Edme/AP Photo/picture alliance

Nearly 150 people were arrested in Paris on Saturday after protests against proposed security laws turned violent.

Riot officers and police vehicles escorted the march through rainy Paris but tempers flared and some protesters were left with bloody faces following clashes between law enforcers and those demonstrating.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted police had made 142 arrests after "several hundred thugs had come to commit violence."

Protests in Paris
The proposed bill could make it more difficult for witnesses to film police officersImage: Thibault Camus/AP Photo/picture alliance

Filming police under the spotlight

Saturday marked the third weekend in a row marchers have taken to the streets across France to air their frustration at a proposed security law aimed at combating "radical Islamism."

The law's most contested measure could make it more difficult for citizens to film police officers. It aims to outlaw the publication of images with intent to cause harm to police. 

Critics say the proposal is inefficient, will stigmatize Muslims, erode media freedom and make it more difficult to expose police brutality.

Slogans emblazoned on placards carried by protesters in Paris said "I will never stop filming" and "Camera equals mutilation?"

There were also protests in other French cities, such as Lyon, in the southeast, where authorities reported five arrests among people they said attacked police and sought to loot shops.

jsi/shs (AP, AFP)

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