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French publishing manager held in U.K. for obstructing police

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April 18, 2023
By The Associated Press

Photo: visitlondon.com/Ben Pipe

A Paris publishing manager was arrested Tuesday in London after being questioned by police about participating in France’s protests against pension reform, his employer said.

Ernest Moret was detained after arriving from Paris at St. Pancras railway station on Monday night on his way to the London Book Fair, Editions La Fabrique said in a joint statement with London radical publisher Vero Books.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson didn’t name Moret but said a 28-year-old man was stopped by officers under a law that allows them to question someone who may be involved in terrorism.

He was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of willfully obstructing their investigation, police said.


The publishers said officers justified questioning Moret by claiming he participated in the turbulent protests against French President Emmanuel Marcon’s decision to raise the age of retirement from 62 to 64.

Moret was arrested for obstruction when he refused to provide passwords to unlock his phone, the publishers said.

A person being questioned under the Terrorism Act of 2000 can be required to provide passwords or codes to unlock electronic devices, according to the law.

“We consider these actions to be outrageous and unjustifiable infringements of basic principles of the freedom of expression and an example of the abuse of anti-terrorism laws,” the publishers said.

Moret, who is the foreign rights manager at the company, remained in custody.

No further information was provided by police about why he was stopped and questioned.

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