Outrage after French court censors media investigation into mayor | Media News

The gag order towards Mediapart violates French press regulation and the European Conference on Human Rights, critics say.

French media retailers and press freedom advocates have expressed outrage at a French court docket resolution to halt the publication of an investigation by the Mediapart on-line newspaper into Saint-Etienne Mayor Gaël Perdriau.

The gag order is “an unprecedented assault towards the liberty of the press in France”, Mediapart’s co-founder and president, Edwy Plenel, wrote.

The movement signed on Friday “orders to not publish an investigation of public curiosity on the specific request of the persona involved”, he stated.

The portal deliberate to launch a report about Perdriau, a member of the conservative Republicans occasion of former President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In September, Mediapart had already reported on an alleged sex-tape blackmail scandal involving Perdriau and his chief of workers, Pierre Gauttieri, towards Saint-Etienne’s first deputy and the mayor’s rival within the metropolis, Gilles Artigues.

If the brand new report is printed, it might doubtless deal an additional blow to Perdriau’s popularity.

‘Extraordinarily severe’

“This resolution is extraordinarily severe,” Christophe Bigot, a lawyer specialising in press regulation for Le Monde, advised the EURACTIV France publication. He stated it violates French press regulation and the European Conference on Human Rights.

Following an pressing request from Perdriau’s lawyer, the court docket determined to censor the report with out giving Medipart an opportunity to make its case for publication heard, EURACTIV reported.

Bigot advised EURACTIV that the part on press freedom within the European Conference on Human Rights underscores the essential significance of the precept of proportionality, which, he stated, can solely be assessed if the knowledge that’s to be printed is taken into account.

Censoring basic curiosity info, even when it may trigger harm to the popularity of the topic, is a violation and “constitutes a severe infringement of the liberty to tell”, the Nationwide Union of Journalists wrote in a press launch.

On this 12 months’s Reporters With out Borders annual press freedom index, France was ranked twenty sixth out of 180 nations by way of press freedom, far behind different EU nations equivalent to Lithuania, Eire, Portugal and Germany.

Mediapart stated at a press convention on Tuesday that its software for withdrawal of the court docket order could be thought-about on Friday.