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The European Federation of Journalists today condemned the "unjustified and brutal attacks" of French police officers on a German film team during an anti-racism "Noborder camp" in Strasbourg on 24 July.

According to two journalists, who are members of the EFJ-affiliated Deutsche Journalisten Union in ver.di, the police sprayed tear gas from close distance and beat them up. The journalists claim that the attacks took place despite the fact that they showed their press cards. After the attack the police confiscated film material. Nearby journalists were also attacked, they say.

Gustl Glattfelder, chair of the EFJ, said: "Journalists all over Europe and world-wide condemn this sort of behavior by the police. When journalists are physically threatened and abused like this it is an open attack on press freedom. It is astonishing that it should happen in a member state of the European Union. "

The EFJ in co-operation with its German affiliates - including the German Journalists Federation (DJV) and ver.di - and with the support of member unions in France are calling upon the French government to investigate the case, to hold those who carried out the attack to account and for the journalists to receive the confiscated film material.

Further Information: 0032 2 235 2202

The EFJ represents more than 280,000 journalists in membership of national unions and associations of journalists in 31 countries

[Media Release August 1st 2002, http://www.ifj.org/publications/press/pr/390.html]