The International Press Association (API-IPA) – official representative of the foreign journalists in Brussels – is very concerned about the arrest, on Friday 30 November, of French journalist Rémy Buisine whilst reporting about the 'yellow vests' demonstration in the Brussels' city center.
A police officer prevented him from doing his work. Even after showing his press card and identification, Rémy was arrested, hand-cuffed and detained for half an hour.
API-IPA appreciates that Brussels' mayor Philippe Close, upon hearing of the arrest, immediately ordered the release of the journalist. However, it remains unacceptable that police officers try to prevent journalists from doing their work – reporting on events in the public sphere – and go as far as to arrest them. This is a serious infringement of freedom of expression and freedom of the media. Such infringements must not be tolerated.
API-IPA calls on the Belgian authorities to once again instruct their security forces that journalists – especially when clearly identifying themselves as such – are not to be hindered, intimidated and certainly not arrested, if they are not violating any law. This kind of behaviour has no place in a democracy.