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Syrian photojournalist injured in police crackdown on Paris protest

Award winning journalist Ameer Alhalbi, a freelancer for AFP and Polka, was covering protests in Paris against police violence when he was wounded

An award-winning Syrian photojournalist was injured while covering protests against police violence in Paris on Saturday.

Ameer Alhalbi, who has won seven international awards for his coverage of the conflict in Syria, was attacked by police as hostilities broke out in the French capital.

The assault was condemned by press freedom groups. Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders, Christophe Deloir, said in a tweet that the 24-year-old had been wounded at Place de la Bastille by a "police baton".

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"Ameer came from Syria to France to take refuge, like several other Syrian journalists. The land of human rights should not threaten them, but protect them," he added.

Deloire noted that Ameer, who is a freelancer with AFP and Polka Magazine, clearly identified himself as a journalist to authorities.

Demonstrations in Paris came after French President Emmauel Macron tried to push through controversial legislation restricting the public's right to film police officers, leading to fears the new law will enable police brutality to go undocumented. The bill came after a video circulated widely on social media showing police attacking and racially abusing a young black man earlier in the week.

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