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AFP to press charges over attack at Paris anti-vax rally

AFP is to press charges after one of its staff was attacked in Paris on Saturday during a rally against the introduction of a vaccine pass.

“AFP condemns the fact that attacks against its reporting teams, both verbal and now physical, are becoming increasingly commonplace, and is concerned about the new level of violence”, said the agency’s chairman Fabrice Fries. “AFP is determined to defend the exercise of journalism in the field and will file a complaint on Monday.”  

One of two AFP video journalists was violently attacked by a hooded man holding a megaphone who made death threats against her. She quickly found herself surrounded by about 50 demonstrators at the rally organized by Florian Philippot’s “Patriots” movement.

Two security guards accompanying the AFP team stepped in to allow the two journalists to get to safety. The guards were beaten, including with batons. The guards and the journalists said they were threatened with death before one of the security guards was hit on the head with a bottle, opening his scalp.

This is the second attack targeting an AFP team during coverage of protests against the health pass. In July 2021, two video journalists were insulted and spat at during another protest organized by Florian Philippot.

You can listen here to an interview (in French) given by Sophie Huet, AFP Global Editor-in-Chief, during the news on France Inter (from 15:06 to 16:27).