Members of the Jewish Defense League identified and attacked a BuzzFeed News reporter in Paris, France during a demonstration outside the offices of the Agence France Presse on Thursday night.
David Perrotin was covering the protest, which had amassed more than 200 members of the JDL, the Organization of European Jews, and Impact against the AFP for its supposedly “anti-Israel” coverage. Throughout the day, the protest was generally uneventful — aside from a few tossed eggs and insults.
— David Perrotin (@davidperrotin) October 22, 2015
Come nightfall, things took a turn when the riot police dispatched to protect the AFP office building tried to disperse the crowds.
That’s when Perrotin engaged in a rather disturbing conversation with one of the protesters, who told him “it [wasn’t] good to take photos” and asked whether or not he was a journalist. He initially didn’t identify him as such, but the protester apparently already knew who he was.
“I know who you are, I have information about you. You are David Perrotin,” said the man. “Wait, I’ll tell the JDL that you’re here.”
Perrotin rushed toward the police line in front of the AFP, but was stopped by a group of masked men who proceeded to beat him. The journalist managed to make it to the line, but not before also being hit by police officers who didn’t realize that he was a reporter. Perrotin was escorted to safety 45 minutes later.
According to the Guardian, the JDL and similar organizations has been “involved in attacks on pro-Palestine media commentators and politicians,” resulting in “several calls to ban” them. Following the incident with Perrotin, the group’s official Twitter account called him a “pseudo journalist” and denied responsibility for the attack.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org