January 28, 2019

Grenoble-based radio station badly damaged in arson attack

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the arson attack that badly damaged a public service regional radio station in Grenoble, in southeastern France, early today and calls on the authorities to shed all possible light on this appalling act of violence.

The radio station, France Bleu Isère, is no longer broadcasting as a result of the fire that began at around 2:30 a.m. today. No one was injured because staff do not start arriving until around 3 a.m.


Grenoble’s state prosecutor said that the entrance door to the radio station had been forced before the fire started and that the initial findings therefore indicated that this was a deliberate criminal act against the station.


We firmly condemn this shocking, criminal act against a radio station that was designed to have a chilling effect on its staff and on all journalists,” said Pauline Adès-Mével, the head of RSF’s EU-Balkans desk. “The Grenoble state prosecutor’s investigation must gather all the evidence needed to convict those responsible and impose sentences appropriate to the gravity of this crime.”


No one has so far claimed responsibility for the arson attack. The radio station’s journalists and management say that the station had not been the target of any threats in recent days or weeks despite the current climate of mistrust of journalists in France.


 France is ranked 33rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.