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Four journalists summoned by judicial police in Montpellier; RSF repeats demand for the inviolability of the right to protect sources to be inscribed in law

(RSF/IFEX) - On 4 July 2007, Emilien Jubineau and Cédric Métairon, journalists with the television station France 3 Sud, as well as Jean-Pierre Lacan and Vincent Damourette of the daily "Midi Libre", were summoned to the Montpellier branch of the French judiciary police regional service (Service régional de la police judiciaire, SRPJ). All four had covered the actions of the Regional Committee of Wine Action, a group of radical wine producers, against the premises of the Hérault wine cooperative and the Narbonne Winemakers House on the night of 2 to 3 July. Police officers questioned them to discover who informed them of the actions. The two France 3 journalists have been summoned, respectively, on 14 and two occasions about similar cases.

In March 2007, RSF sent a questionnaire to the presidential election candidates to learn their position on this question. Nicolas Sarkozy declared that he was in favour of reinforcing the protection of sources and of inscribing this right in the press freedom law of 29 July 1881.

Article 109 of the Code of Criminal Procedure stipulates that "any journalist heard as a witness about information gathered while practicing his profession is free not to reveal its origin."

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