France: Journalist's car sabotaged

Investigative journalist Morgan Large discovered that her car had been sabotaged, with two bolts removed from a wheel on Monday 29 March. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) have strongly condemned the attack and urged the French authorities to investigate the case immediately and take measures to ensure the safety of journalists and freedom of information in the region.

Large is known for her investigations into the agriculture sector in the Brittany region. Credit: THOMAS SAMSON / AFP

Morgan Large works for the bilingual French-Breton Radio Kreiz Breizh and is known for her investigations into the agriculture sector in the Brittany region. The sabotage of her car parked close to her house is the latest act of intimidation against her and her family, adding to the long list of threats she has been subjected to because of her work.

Last November, the doors of Radio Kreiz Breizh premises were broken without any evidence of intrusion after the broadcast of a documentary in which Large was interviewed. Anonymous phone calls in the middle of the night and threatening messages sent to her and her radio were also reported to the police. Last January, her dog was poisoned.

In a column published on Reporterre, journalists working on agriculture in Brittany have denounced the numerous intimidations and malicious acts against them and the lack of reaction from the authorities. They wrote: "Public authorities continue to turn a blind eye. Worse, they accompany this omerta by putting the gendarmerie at the service of certain farmers to watch whistleblowers and dissuade any journalistic investigation. They are multiplying the adoption of measures that infringe on public freedoms, protecting particular interests rather than the common good."

This week another German journalist was threatened, insulted and followed home by a farmer. Recently freelance journalist Inès Léraud was targeted twice by vexatious defamation lawsuits initiated by agri-food business owners from the region that were dropped just days before the trials.

The IFJ and the EFJ have joined their French affiliates SNJ, SNJ-CGT and CFDT's call urging the French authorities to thoroughly investigate all attacks on freedom of information and bring the perpetrators to justice.

"We express solidarity with Morgan Large and all journalists who keep doing a remarkable work despite attempts to silence them, said EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez. "This intimidation takes different forms but all have one objective: deterring them from investigating. The French authorities must live up to their commitment to press freedom and the safety of journalists."

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: "The lack of reaction from French authorities in this case is very concerning. We demand a full investigation into the acts of intimidation perpetrated against Morgan Large".

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

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