In Pictures: Violent anti-security bill protests in France

In Pictures: Violent anti-security bill protests in France

Thousands of people across France have protested against a proposed security bill that would make it more difficult to film police officers.

Media freedom and human rights groups have led protests for weeks to have the government scrap or revise a bill that would restrict the filming of police, saying it would make it harder to prosecute cases of abuse.

The interior ministry said about 52,350 people demonstrated around France, including 5,000 in Paris.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said at least 64 people had been arrested across the country and eight police officers were injured. In the western city of Nantes, two riot police were injured, one of them with a Molotov cocktail, French media reported.

In a tweet, Darmanin praised the police for facing down “very violent individuals”.

In the capital Paris, protesters on Saturday set fire to several cars, pillaged a bank and tossed objects at police – the second consecutive weekend of violent protests against the draft bill.

French police had been deployed to avert trouble after violent clashes erupted during the demonstration in Paris a week ago that saw dozens wounded.

The new clashes came after Macron gave a much-anticipated interview on Friday to Brut, a video-based news portal aimed at young people.

Macron said “there are police who are violent” and insisted that “they need to be punished”.

He acknowledged that “when you have a skin colour that is not white, you are stopped much more [by police]. You are identified as a problem factor. And that cannot be justified.”

But he also lashed out at the violence against police at last weekend’s rally in Paris, which he blamed on “crazy people”.