April 25, 2017

RSF condemns photographer’s arrest during polling day protest


Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns press photographer Jacob Khrist’s arrest while taking photos of a protest at a polling station in the northern town of Hénin-Beaumont on 23 April and calls for his immediate release.

Khrist has been a member of the Hans Lucas agency since 2012 and has worked for various national newspapers and magazines for eight years. He was arrested summarily and without explanation by police while photographing a protest by topless Femen activists at the polling station where National Front presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was casting her vote. He was still being held by the police yesterday on charges of “complicity in sexual exhibition” and “rebellion.”

We condemn the heavy-handed arrest of this journalist in circumstances that are still unclear,” said Pauline Adès-Mével, the head of RSF’s European Union desk. “We offer him our support and we call for his immediate release.”

France, which held the first round of its presidential election on 23 April, is ranked 45th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.