The home of journalist Ariane Lavrilleux, who collaborates with several media including RFI and who was at the origin of revelations at the end of 2021 on a possible Egyptian diversion of a French intelligence operation in the country, was searched and she was placed in police custody, Tuesday September 19 in France. The media Disclose, which published its article at the time, revealed the information.
“ Search underway at the home of the journalist Disclosed, Ariane Lavrilleux. Police officers from the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) placed our journalist in police custody. A new unacceptable attack on the secrecy of sources », denounced on X (formerly Twitter) the investigative media Disclose. A source close to the case confirmed to AFP that an investigating judge was currently carrying out these operations, “ given his status as a journalist “.
These take place as part of a judicial investigation underway since July 2022, opened by the Paris prosecutor’s office for compromise of national defense secrets and disclosures of the identity of soldiers and entrusted to the DGSI, confirmed this source. .
“ I am appalled and worried about the escalation in attacks on freedom of information, and the coercive measures taken against the Disclose journalist. », Reacted Me Virginie Marquet, lawyer for Ariane Lavrilleux and the investigative media. “ This search risks seriously undermining the confidentiality of journalists’ sources, which I can legitimately fear has been completely violated since this morning. Disclose will protect its journalist who only revealed information of public interest “, she added.
Read alsoAccording to the media Disclose, Egypt diverts anti-terrorism intelligence provided by France
A ” infringement of the freedom to investigate and inform »
Disclose had claimed, in an article published in November 2021, that the French intelligence mission Sirli, started in February 2016 for the benefit of Egypt in the name of the fight against terrorism, had been hijacked by the Egyptian state, which used information collected to carry out airstrikes on suspected smugglers’ vehicles on the Egyptian-Libyan border.
According to documents obtained by Disclose, “ French forces were allegedly involved in at least 19 bombings against civilians between 2016 and 2018 ” in this area. Despite the concerns and warnings of certain officials about the excesses of the operation, the French authorities would not have called the mission into question, according to Disclose, citing secret documents.
Following this publication, the French Ministry of the Armed Forces filed a complaint for “violation of national defense secrecy”. A preliminary investigation was opened in November 2021 before an investigating judge was appointed in the summer of 2022.
On X (formerly Twitter) the indignant reactions follow one another. The magazine Complément d’investigation, broadcast on the public television channel France 2, supports Anne Lavrilleux and denounces a “ violation of the secrecy of sources and the freedom to inform “. Same story with the Society of Journalists (Sdj) of France Télévisions: “ Thanks to her work, Ariane Lavrilleux produced a report for Complément d’Enquête on this Sirli military operation. The Sdj supports him and denounces his placement in police custody, a new attack on the freedom to investigate and inform. » Reporters Without Borders says “ fear that the actions of the DGSI will undermine the secrecy of sources “.
(and with AFP)