Information Note on the Court’s case-law No. 142 June 2011 Trévalec v. Belgium - 30812/07 Judgment 14.6.2011 [Section II] Article 2 Article 2-1 Life Non-fatal shooting of journalist by special operations police unit which had not been informed that his presence had been authorised by local chief of police: violation; no violation Facts – The applicant, a reporter, was engaged by a production company which had obtained police authorisation for him and a journalist colleague to film the operations of a special unit, the anti-gang squad. At around 1 a.m. on 12 January 2003, in response to a call from a person living nearby, the police radio operator directed police officers, including M.S. and Y.M., to an area of warehouses. The purpose of the operation was to apprehend two individuals who had been acting suspiciously and seemed to be armed. Shortly after the interception and immobilisation of the suspects by other police officers, the applicant appeared a few metres behind M.S. and Y.M. In a reflex action in self-defence in the heat of the moment, mistaking the reporter’s camera in the dark for a weapon and feeling threatened, the two officers fired at the applicant, seriously injuring him in the legs. The persons in charge of the operation were immediately contacted and informed of the accident, and the public prosecutor was notified about ten minutes later. The investigating judge immediately took various measures to establish the facts and preserve the evidence. Law – Article 2 (a) Substantive aspect– M.S. and Y.M. had believed in good faith that their lives were at risk and had used their weapon in self-defence, believing they were acting within the law. Given the subject of his report, it was evident that the applicant was likely to find himself in situations where he risked injury or even death. In that context he depended for his safety on the police, which had accepted that responsibility when authorising his presence. Without any written regulations, decisions in that kind of situation were taken on a case-by-case basis. The police authorities had made sure that the applicant had countersigned the authorisation to film that had been issued by the police chief on the condition that he complied with the safety instructions given by the inspectors. In addition, bullet-proof jackets had been provided to the applicant and his colleague, who had been invited to a preparatory meeting and had been given appropriate instructions. However, the transcription of the communications emitted on the night of the incident from the police “radio-operations centre” showed that the officers on the ground had not been specifically informed of the presence of the applicant and his colleague with the anti-gang squad. The officers who had fired the shots and their colleagues from “Unit 101” and the dog-handling unit, had confirmed that, whilst they had not been unaware that a television crew was

اختر الفقرة المستهدفة3