On Tuesday, September 19th, Disclose journalist Ariane Lavrilleux was taken into custody and her home searched by the French special intelligence service (DGSI). Disclose and other prominent journalism organizations are rallying behind this clear symbol of intimidation.
According to Disclose, the French special intelligence service “took the journalist into custody as part of an investigation into compromising national defence secrets and revealing information that could lead to the identification of a protected agent, which was opened in July 2022.” Lavrilleux is a co-author of the “Egypt Papers” series of investigations, revealing through hundreds of classified documents that France was complicit in multiple war crimes in Egypt. It is assumed that the DGSI wants to identify the sources who helped reveal the Sirli military operation in Egypt, which carried out aerial strikes against civilians.
Lavrilleux’s lawyer Virginie Marquet said, “I am appalled and worried about the escalation in attacks on the freedom to inform, and the coercive measures taken against the Disclose journalist.”
Journalist organizations around the world are rightfully denouncing the actions of the DGSI, as there is widespread international recognition that the confidentiality of sources should be protected.
Update 9/21/23: Lavrilleux was released on Wednesday evening after over 24 hours in detention.