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Rights Groups Slam Arrest of Reporter Who Exposed French Role in Killings of Civilians in Egypt

HeadlineSep 22, 2023

In France, police released journalist Ariane Lavrilleux Thursday, two days after her home was raided and she was arrested over her reporting. Writing for the website Disclose, Lavrilleux reported on a leak that said French intelligence was used by Egyptian forces to target smugglers along the Libya-Egypt border, resulting in the killing of civilians. The reporting says French forces were complicit in at least 19 bombings against smugglers between 2016 and 2018. She also wrote about various arms trades in Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Russia.

Amnesty International chief Agnès Callamard said, “It is deeply chilling that, almost two years after the revelations that France was allegedly complicit in the extrajudicial executions of hundreds of people in Egypt, it is the journalist who exposed these atrocities that is being targeted, rather than those responsible.”

On Thursday, Lavrilleux spoke at a news conference at the Paris office of Reporters Without Borders shortly after her release. She deplored “the lack of political support” for her case and called on parliamentarians to investigate abuses by French intelligence services.

Ariane Lavrilleux: “If all these people remain silent, it is very disquieting for our democracy. If those in power do not ask questions, democracy dies in darkness, as the famous slogan goes. This is a very political, essentially democratic matter.”

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