The General Secretary and President of the National Union of Journalists have contacted their members asking them to sign a petition in defence of the right to take and publish news photographs.
Jeremy Dear and Michelle Stanistreet emailed NUJ members arguing that a European Court of Human Rights judgement against Paris Match ‘could severely restrict the freedoms of photographers and news media.’
The magazine published photographs of the body of French official Claude Erignac, shortly after he was shot in the back in 1998 in a political assasination. Erignac’s family subsequently raised a court action against the magazine, claiming it was an intrusion of their privacy.
A court in Strasbourg ruled that the magazine should have sought and obtained permission from Erignac’s family before publication.
The petition – dubbed the Perpignan Call – was jointly launched by the International Festival of Photojournalism ‘Visa pour l’Image’ and by the French weekly magazine Paris Match, following the decision in the Erignac case and is supported by the International Federation of Journalists.
“This decision is contrary to the principle of press freedom and deprives the European public of its right to be informed”, write Dear and Stanistreet. “It also threatens the rights and livelihoods of photographers and the media should oppose it.”
The petition can be signed here.