France: Interior Minister files charges against websites critical of the police

Brice Hortefeux, the Minister of the Interior, announced on Monday that he’d brought charges against two Internet sites that are hostile to the police.

Hortefeux, who was away on business with his Spanish counterpart Alfredo at the police station at Dammarie-les-Lys, which was on 16 March the target of a gunman thought to be connected with the armed Basque group ETA, didn’t want to mention the sites in question “so as to not give them any publicity.”

According to a source close to the Minister of the Interior, they are http://juralibertaire.over-blog.com%5B1%5D and grenoble.indymedia.org.

The Minister brought a complaint for the “public insult and defamation of the police.” He explained that, “there were campaigns that shocked me that I couldn’t let stand.” According to him, the content of these sites “attack the honor of the police.” In particular, “the police are called ‘bands of killers’ and the BAC [the anti-criminal brigade] is called an ‘armed band of criminals.’”

At the portal to the first of these two sites, which is apparently close to the anarcho-autonomous movement,[2] one can read: “The police work . . . for social apartheid.”

In September 2009, Brice Hortefeux brought a complaint alleging defamation of the national police against the makers of remarks reported by the AFP and Libération.fr.

(Written by the AFP and published in Libération on 26 July 2010. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! on 28 July 2010. Footnotes by the translator.)

[1] See the interview conducted by Paco for more information about le Jura Libertaire: http://www.notbored.org/le-jura-libertaire.html

[2] A repetition of the meaningless phrase once applied to the Tarnac Nine.

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