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France1 November 2006

France 2 TV crew attacked with iron bars

Reporters Without Borders has condemned a brutal attack on a France 2 TV crew in Clichy-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs of Paris while interviewing family members of a teenager who had suffered an eye injury at the hands of police three days earlier on 28 October.

"We are extremely shocked by this pre-meditated attack against journalists who came to get interviews with people living in the town. It is essential that the assailants should be actively tracked down and punished to counter a feeling of impunity which would endanger all journalists who are covering unrest in the suburbs,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

The film crew were set upon from behind on 31 October and attacked with iron bars and chunks of wood. The journalist/cameraman needed several stitches in a head wound after being assaulted and his camera snatched. The editor and sound engineer escaped injury but their car was damaged and personal effects stolen.

Deploring the violence, France 2 editor Roger Motte told Reporters Without Borders that it was unfortunately becoming more and more common. The cameraman in this crew had already been assaulted nearly a month ago. “We are discussing between ourselves what steps we can take to afford better protection to our reporting teams,” he added.

Agence France-Presse reported that one of its photographers was physically attacked in the same town on 27 October while he was taking shots of burning cars. His assailants ran off after snatching his camera.

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