France’s National Union of Journalists (SNJ) and Judicial Press Association (APJ) yesterday published a manual advising journalists in France on how to respond if they are summoned for questioning or are placed under investigation.
Its release comes amid considerable concern within the French media about the fact that at least nine journalists – freelancers, journalists employed by leading media outlets and media bosses – have been summoned for questioning in recent weeks by France’s domestic intelligence agency, the DGSI.
The manual – which answers such questions as “How should I react if I am summoned as a witness?”, “How should I react if I am placed in police custody” and “Could my office be searched?” – can be downloaded from the SNJ and APJ websites. There are two versions, short and long.
Most of the answers are based on the safeguards for journalists that are recognized by France’s 1881 press freedom law and article 10 (on freedom of expression) in the European Convention on Human Rights.