20 January 2022,   20:15
France’s ruling parties agree to total rewrite of controversial “Article 24” security measure

The French government has decided to totally rewrite part of a new controversial security law that has sparked nationwide protests, amid a raging debate over police violence and accountability, writes Euronews.

The move, interpreted as a climbdown, was announced by parliamentary leaders from the ruling majority dominated by President Emmanuel Macron’s LREM (La République en Marche) movement.

The measure known as “Article 24”, part of a “global security” law, would make it an offence to film and identify police officers online if there is intent to harm - sparking fears that it might enable police to act with impunity.

The government will propose “a complete new rewrite” of the contested article, said the LREM’s parliamentary leader Christophe Castaner at a news conference.

“We know that doubts still persist” and “we must put out these doubts” because “when such a misunderstanding does not cease to intensify on such a fundamental subject, we have the duty to call ourselves into question collectively”, - said Castaner, a former interior minister.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets across France at the weekend to protest against the new security law, which passed its first stage in the French parliament last week. Amid clashes in Paris and elsewhere, 98 members of the security forces were injured and there were 81 arrests, the interior ministry said.