TV journalists working for RTL Info and France 3 were physically attacked on 15 January 2016 in Molenbeek (Belgium) by family members of one of the perpetrators of the Paris November 2015 terror attacks where more than 100 people were killed.
The two television crews were willing to interview any person who could comment on the profile of Chakib Akrouh who, according to media reports, was identified by his DNA as the terrorist who blew himself up in Saint-Denis (Paris) during the police raid which led to the capture of several suspects. The attacked journalists tried to calm the situation down and repeatedly said that they had asked for the violence against them as well as the cameraman to stop.
The Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP, EFJ-IFJ affiliate) quickly condemned these attacks and announced that it will initiate judicial proceedings against the perpetrators. The AJP recalled that “there is no lawless zone where journalists cannot access information. In terrorism related cases, as in all others, journalists should not be considered as ’enemies." They are trying, often working under difficult conditions, to understand and to explain the facts in order to inform the public about matters of general interests.” Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, also condemned the attack.
The International and European Federation of Journalists, (IFJ) and (EFJ), have submitted this case to the Council of Europe's platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists.
Find more information about the platform here.
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 139 countries