Survivor of Charlie Hebdo killers sues French TV and radio stations


TV and radio stations revealed the presence of Lilian Lepère hiding in a cupboard at a printing plant where the two gunman were under seige.

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A man who hid in a cupboard for eight hours from the Charlie Hebdo gunmen is suing French TV and radio stations, accusing them of endangering his life by revealing his location live on air, reports The Independent.

On January 7th, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi killed 12 people in an attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine. Two days later, they arrived at a printing firm in Dammartin-en-Goële, a small town north of Paris.

As they arrived, Lilian Lepère was hiding in a cupboard under a sink at the plant, when at least three TV and radio stations revealed his presence.

As police surrounded the plant on, Yves Albarello, a member of the French lower house, the National Assembly, revealed on French radio station RMC that an employee was hiding in the building.

Other media outlets, including France 2 and TF1 followed up on Albarello’s claims.

Later, Lepère’s sister, Cindy, confirmed in an interview to TV station France 2 she believed her brother to be in the plant, divulging that her family had stopped calling him in order not to compromise his hiding spot.

After a special forces raid, Lepère was released unharmed.

Lepère’s lawyer told the Associated Press the complaint aims to increase the media’s awareness of life-threatening situations.

"Delivering information without careful consideration may lead to endanger other's lives. Journalists must think of it," he said.

Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, France’s broadcasting watchdog issued formal warnings to 16 French TV and radio stations over their coverage of terrorist attacks, hostage-takings and police standoffs.

CSA, the watchdog agency, also reprimanded two stations for broadcasting images of gunmen shooting a policeman, Ahmed Merabet, in the head outside the Charlie Hebdo offices.

In the UK, Sky News avoided censure for showing the amateur footage of the murder because they edited out the final seconds when he was shot in the head, The Guardian reported.

France 24 reported that hostages who hid from another gunman in a coldroom at a kosher supermarket are suing BFM TV for broadcasting information about their location.

Read more of this report from The Independent.

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