French Journalist Arrested After Exposing Israeli Link To Paris Attacks

1480092051000_arp4340337-e1447891074346Investigative journalist Hicham Hamza was detained by French police last month after exposing Israel’s role in orchestrating the Paris Attacks on November 13, 2015.

Police charged Hamza with “violating judicial secrecy,” and have threatened him with potential prison time for a photo Hamza published online.

Below is a translation of Hicham Hamza’s article describing his arrest:

Detained by police for investigating the attacks in Paris

An independent journalist and founder of the investigative website Panamza, I was detained for seven hours by police about an article in which I revealed the Israeli origin of the shocking photo of the Bataclan.

On Monday, February 22nd, I went of my own accord to the police station in response to a summons from the Crimes Against Persons Brigade, located in the 13th arrondissement of Paris.

The day before, I had received an “urgent” voice message from an official of the Directorate of the Judicial Police asking me to call him immediately. The reason: my  December 15th article entitled “Bataclan Carnage: The shocking photo was disseminated from Jerusalem.”

I was familiar with the Judicial Police premises, having been summoned twice to respond to “defamation” complaints brought against me by Caroline Fourest and Pierre Bergé.

Surprise! This time, upon arrival I was “placed in custody” following a preliminary investigation by the Paris prosecutor. The officer informed me that I was now suspected of having committed – by publishing my article – the following offenses: “violation of the secrecy of an investigation”, “publication of an image that seriously undermines human dignity,” and “premeditated voluntary violence without ITT.”*

Yes, you read that correctly.

So what happened next?

I was led to cell to await the arrival of my lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre so that she could be present, as the law allows, during my interrogation.

After the interrogation, I was made to read and sign the minutes of my statements. I was then returned to detention pending the police response. Five hours later I left the musty old double-locked room to learn that no decision had been taken by the prosecutor of the Republic.

I was finally allowed to collect my things and go.

The merits of the case?

While following the torturous trail of the shocking, anonymous Bataclan massacre photo, I had done my work as an investigative journalist. My objective was to fully document my sources. So in my article, I inserted the URL of the first web page containing the non-blurred Bataclan picture (which I had chosen to truncate on my site).

The original source of the photo turned out, oddly enough, to be a tweet published by an Israeli organization headed by the U.S. neoconservative Mark Gerson.

My practice – which is increasingly costly and risky – of ultra-sourced web journalism is my guarantee of reliability for my readers: I give them my sources to check so they can judge for themselves the veracity of my information.

Today, the Paris prosecutor – who reports directly to the Ministry of Justice – claimed that I had supposedly “violated the secrecy of the investigation” and committed “premeditated voluntary violence” by “disseminating” the photo necessarily included in this tweet.

Duly noted.

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