Award-winning photojournalist wounded covering Paris protest

By: AFP      Published: 12:41 PM, 29 Nov, 2020
Award-winning photojournalist wounded covering Paris protest

A press freedom group has denounced the "unacceptable" injury of an award-winning Syrian photojournalist during a Paris protest against police brutality.

Ameer Alhalbi, a freelance photographer who worked for Polka Magazine and AFP, was covering the demonstrations over the weekend opposing police violence and the French government's new law restricting sharing images of officers.

In a widely shared photo on Twitter, Alhalbi's face appears bruised with much of his head covered in bandages.

Christophe Deloire, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders, tweeted that the 24-year-old had been wounded at Place de la Bastille by "a police baton" and condemned the violence.

"Ameer came from #Syria to #France to take refuge, like several other Syrian journalists. The land of human rights should not threaten them, but protect them," he said in a second tweet.

Deloire also noted Alhalbi had been clearly identified as a journalist.

Dimitri Beck, director of photography for Polka, said that Alhalbi had suffered a broken nose and injured forehead, and had been taken to hospital.

Alhalbi has won several international awards, including second prize in the "Spot News" category for the World Press Photo in 2017, mainly for his coverage of the Syrian conflict in his home city Aleppo for AFP.