French publisher requests end of police investigation in the UK
French publisher requests end of police investigation in the UK

London: A French publisher requested on Wednesday that British police end their investigation into a worker who was allegedly detained on his way to the London Book Fair and interrogated for hours about the government of French President Emmanuel Macron and the pension reforms that led to months of demonstrations.

The publisher said that although Ernest Moret, the foreign rights manager at Editions La Fabrique, was released on Tuesday, police had taken his phone and work computer and had instructed him to return to the UK in four weeks.

Two days after Moret was detained and interrogated after arriving at St. Pancras railway station from Paris on Monday night, the circumstances surrounding his arrest were still unknown.

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The Metropolitan Police in London declined to identify Moret or reveal the circumstances surrounding his arrest.

However, a police spokesperson claimed that when Moret arrived, a 28-year-old man who had stopped at the train station was questioned by port officers in accordance with a law allowing them to do so for anyone who may be connected to terrorism. According to the law, an officer may question someone without having any reason to believe that person is currently or has ever been involved in terrorism.

According to the publishers, officers' claims that Moret took part in the tumultuous demonstrations against Macron's decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 served as justification for questioning Moret.

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According to the publisher, French authorities were involved in the situation and may have "whispered" questions to their British counterparts. Moret was asked to name specific anti-government authors the publisher collaborated with in addition to the "disturbing questions" about the French government.

"Asking the representative of a publishing house, in an anti-terrorism context, questions about his authors' opinions means pushing even further the logic of political censorship and repression of dissenting views," La Fabrique claimed. This element is chilling in the midst of a social movement and the rising authoritarianism of the French government.

The man was reportedly detained on Tuesday on suspicion of purposefully impeding their investigation.

According to the publisher, Moret was detained for refusing to unlock his phone with a password.

If a person being questioned under the Terrorism Act of 2000 does not provide passwords or codes to unlock electronic devices, they may be found in violation of the law.

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According to a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police, the suspect was released on bail on Tuesday night. Although no charges were brought, the investigation went on.

The French Foreign Ministry stated that it did not know anything about the arrest or had any comments. It claimed to have provided Moret with consular safety.

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