French media pull photos of attackers over glorification fears

France's Le Monde daily said on Wednesday it would no longer publish photographs of killers responsible for terror attacks to avoid giving them "posthumous glorification".

PTI| Updated: Jul 27, 2016, 19:13 PM IST

Paris: France's Le Monde daily said on Wednesday it would no longer publish photographs of killers responsible for terror attacks to avoid giving them "posthumous glorification".

The country's biggest rolling news television channel, BFMTV, later confirmed that it was following suit, as did Catholic daily La Croix.

And the Europe 1 radio station said it was going further and not "naming terrorists".

"We realised after the Nice attack that we were very uncomfortable about a series of photos from the attacker's past," Le Monde's managing editor Jerome Fenoglio told AFP, referring to widely circulated images of Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel flexing his muscles and salsa dancing.

"It is not about hiding the facts, or where these killers came from, which is why we do not agree with not naming them," he added.

 

"But their photos are not pertinent for describing their background," he said.

BFMTV, which came in for criticism for interviewing gunman Amedy Coulibaly during the January 2015 kosher supermarket siege in Paris in which four people died, said it had also stopped showing images of attackers.

"We made the decision last night to no longer show pictures of the terrorists until further notice," said editorial director Herve Beroud.

"We have been thinking about this for some time. Our decision was speeded up by Nice, by the repeated tragedies," he told AFP.

He said the station would continue to name "terrorists... The difficulty of this debate is that we have to guard against not informing people," he added.

La Croix's editor-in-chief Francois Ernenwein said that it would no longer publish the surnames of suspected attackers.

"We will not publish their photo and we will only publish their first name and the initial of their surname," he told AFP.

The brutal killing of an elderly priest, whose throat was slit during mass on Tuesday, has further traumatised a country already reeling from the truck massacre in Nice in which 84 died, the third major terror attack in 18 months.