Tuesday September 19, Ariane Lavrilleux, journalist for the investigative media Disclose, was searched and taken into custody by the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI). Journalists and associations are mobilizing and denouncing an attack on press freedom.
Ariane Lavrilleux, journalist at Disclose, investigative media, was taken into police custody this Tuesday, September 19. The young woman is the target of an investigation opened since July 2022 for “compromise of national defense secrets” et “revelation of information that could lead to the identification of a protected agent“.
A search was carried out on Tuesday September 19, at six o’clock at his home in Marseille, by the DGSI and an investigating judge according to a media release.
“Violation of national defense secrecy”
The journalist is at the origin of an investigative series published in 2021 targeting the Sirli military operations in Egypt, evoking their link with the French armed forces.
According to documents obtained by Disclose, “French forces were allegedly involved in at least 19 bombings against civilians between 2016 and 2018,” reports Huffpost. The French Ministry of the Armed Forces had filed a complaint for “violation of national defense secrecy”.
According to Disclose, Ariane Lavrilleux had to wait ten hours in police custody before being able to meet her lawyer. The media therefore denounces a “serious attack on the right to defense” of their journalist. After twelve hours in police custody, the latter was taken to the Marseille police station.
Currently, DGSI investigators accuse Ariane Lavrilleux of having signed five articles on French arms sales abroad since 2019, according to Disclose.
The media denounce an attack on press freedom
The Collectif Presse-Papiers called, Tuesday evening, for a rally in Marseille, in front of the Evêché police headquarters where Ariane Lavrilleux was taken. They hoped to obtain the immediate release of the young woman.
“We firmly denounce this procedure which is an unacceptable attack on the independence of the press, the secrecy of sources and the freedom to inform.”
Many media like Disclose or Reporter Without Borders fear an attack on the secrecy of sources and freedom of the press. They are calling for a new gathering this Wednesday, September 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Place de la République in Paris.