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France2 October 2008

Exasperation at raids on two provincial newspapers

Reporters Without Borders is “exasperated” by the raids carried out by police and judicial officials on two daily newspapers in the western city of Poitiers on 30 September for allegedly violating the confidentiality of a judicial investigation into a murder case.

“The government has itself recognised the threats to the confidentiality of journalists’ sources in France,” the press freedom organisation said. “A bill is currently before the senate and no one has forgotten the raids on Auto Plus and Canard Enchaîné. The decision to search two regional newspapers is completely incomprehensible and contrary to the changes under way in parliament.”

The two newspapers searched on 30 September were Centre-Presse and La Nouvelle République du Centre Ouest. The investigators took away a computer from La Nouvelle République du Centre Ouest.

Reporters Without Borders reiterates its commitment to the adoption of a law explicitly protecting journalists’ sources. A bill was submitted to the senate on 20 May and was examined by the laws commission in June. It is due to be debated in a public senate session later this autumn.

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