by RT November 28th 2020, 11:18 am

Critics of the bill say it crushes journalistic freedoms and would be used to intimidate people who want to expose police brutality

Protesters throughout France have shown up for rallies against a controversial draft law on public safety, under which filming a police officer on duty may result in a hefty fine. Critics say it fosters impunity for misconduct.

The protests were organized in many large French cities, including Paris, Marseilles, Lyon, Brest and Nice, with thousands participating despite Covid-19 concerns. The main event is happening in the Place de la République in the capital.

The demonstrators are voicing their anger over a draft law on public security, which was approved by the lower chamber of the parliament this week. Article 24 of the bill bans filming of police officers on duty with an intention to harm them. Lawmakers who voted for the bill are among the officials who were shamed by the protesters.

The reasoning behind the provision, which introduces a fine of €45,000 ($53,450) or even a one-year jail term, is that members of the force need to be protected from doxxing and online harassment. Critics say it curtails journalistic freedoms and would be used to intimidate people who want to expose police brutality and other forms of misconduct.

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