Paris Chief Prosecutor, Francois Molins, asked a court yesterday to "urgently" take a magazine off the newsstands for publishing graphic photographs of last year's deadly Nice truck attack.
Molins asked "the court to order the withdrawal of the edition" of the current issue of Paris Match weekly and to ban its "broadcasting in all formats, including digital," his office said in a statement, adding that an investigation has begun over "violating the secrecy of an investigation."
According to Europe 1 radio, Molins launched a last-minute injunction on Wednesday evening in a bid to prevent the magazine from printing screenshots from video surveillance of the Nice attack last Bastille Day, July 14, 2016, that left 86 people dead, at least 10 of which were children, and more than 450 wounded. The magazine defended its decision to publish the images, saying it will defend "the right of the citizens, and first of all the right of the victims, to know what exactly happened during the attack."
Olivier Royant, Paris Match's editorial director, said the shots were taken at a distance, do not identify the victims or impinge on their dignity and are no different from what other media outlets have made available.
Eric Morain, a lawyer for the victims' group FENVAC, called the publication "illegal" and "sensationalist." The mayor of the French Riviera city also denounced the publication, saying in a statement he had written to France's justice minister.
France has been hit by numerous fatal terrorist attacks over the past years. More than 230 people have been killed in militant attacks in France over the past two years, including 86 during this year's July 14 national holiday celebrations in the Riviera resort of Nice.
In March 2012, a gunman claiming links to al-Qaeda kills three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers in Toulouse, southern France.
In January 2015, a gun assault on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and an attack on a kosher grocery store killed 17 people. The al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in revenge for Charlie Hebdo's depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. The offices had also been firebombed in 2011.
In November 2015, Daesh-linked extremists attack the Bataclan concert hall and other sites across Paris, killing 130 people. A key suspect in the attack, 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, was arrested in Brussels on March 18, 2016 after hiding in the city's notorious Molenbeek neighborhood.
Several non-fatal attacks, mainly on police officers throughout the country but mostly on the capital, have also been carried out. Most of these attacks were non-fatal stabbings and vehicle rammings. French lawmakers voted for the sixth time to extend the country's state of emergency last week as interior ministry said they will be closing three more mosques as part of the measures. Due to the country being under terror threat since 2015, a state of emergency was first announced last November.