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France: News site under prosecution after racism report

Legal proceedings opened for 'defamation, insult' after covering attack against Turkish-French family, says news website

Alaattin Dogru   | 20.01.2021
France: News site under prosecution after racism report

PARIS

An online news platform in France alleged Wednesday that authorities launched legal proceedings against it after reporting on racist attacks against a Turkish-French family.

Fatih Karakaya, director of Medyaturk Info, told Anadolu Agency that their platform was being prosecuted for "defamation and insult" after a report on a racist attack against a Turkish-French family.

Prosecutors in Bordeaux opened an investigation into the news outlet on a Sept. 4, 2019 report it published when a family in the region reached them via social media, saying they were subjected to racism and violence by their neighbors, Karakaya explained

"The French woman told us how she was insulted because she married a Turkish man. She said her neighbor had assaulted her and sent photographs," he said. "They also took a photo of the man who attacked and insulted them as he passed by, wagging his finger, we have that as well."

Karakaya said they had also called the municipality for their take, but were told by the mayor that the incidents were not racist in character, but rather a dispute amongst neighbors.

"We also included the statements of the municipality in the news report," he said.

Underlining that they had not named the alleged attacker, Karakaya said that a year later in November 2020, they received a notification that Medyaturk Info and its manager Karakaya were under prosecution for "slander and insult."

"We submitted our plea that we simply did our job as journalists," he recounted.

"The French authorities want to prevent the reporting of such racist attacks by frightening us through pressure, putting us under financial burden, even though there's no crime," Karakaya told Anadolu Agency.

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