Journalist Taha Bouhafs in custody after an attempted intrusion by demonstrators into a theater where Emmanuel Macron was

Journalist Taha Bouhafs in custody after an attempted intrusion by demonstrators into a theater where Emmanuel Macron was

The militant journalist was arrested Friday evening, at the end of the performance, in front of the Bouffes du Nord theater.

Taha Bouhafs, journalist, left-wing activist and former candidate for the 2017 legislative elections under the label La France insoumise, on February 12, 2019 in Paris.  (YANN CASTANIER / HANS LUCAS / AFP)

The militant journalist Taha Bouhafs, who had reported on Twitter the presence of Emmanuel Macron, Friday, January 17, in the Parisian theater of Bouffes du Nord by evoking a call to disrupt the evening, was taken into custody during the night for “Participation in a group formed with a view to committing violence or degradation,” Franceinfo learned from a judicial source on Saturday.

He was arrested in the evening of Friday at the end of the performance, briefly disturbed by an attempted intrusion of demonstrators in the theater, on the 44th day of strike against the pension reform. President Macron, who was present with his wife, was “secured” for a few minutes then returned to see the room until the end, according to his entourage.

“Security looks at me weird”

Before the start of the performance, Taha Bouhafs wrote on Twitter: “I am currently at the Bouffes du Nord theater (La Chapelle metro station). 3 rows behind the President of the Republic. Activists are around somewhere calling [sic] everyone to reapply. Something is brewing… the evening may be eventful ”. Taha Bouhafs then asked his tens of thousands of subscribers whether or not he should throw his shoes at the president, like the famous gesture of an Iraqi journalist against US President George W. Bush in 2008. “Just kidding (…) the security is looking at me weird there”, he then clarified.

The arrest of Taha Bouhafs, who is filming social movements for the information site Là-bas si j’y suis, has sparked some political reactions. “We arrest a journalist for having tweeted about the presence of the Contemptuous in the theater. Welcome to #Macronie ”, reacted on Twitter the deputy France Insoumise Danièle Obono. “What happened at #BouffesduNord is unacceptable, unacceptable. When we seek to attack the President of the Republic, we seek to attack the institution. Let us not get used to these manifestations of violence against democracy ”, replied on Twitter the deputy and spokesperson LREM Célia de Lavergne.

Taha Bouhafs, known for having filmed Alexandre Benalla violating a couple in Paris on May 1, 2018, had already been taken into police custody in June while covering a demonstration in the Paris suburbs, attracting the support of part of the profession. He is to be tried on February 22 in Créteil for “contempt and rebellion”.