Nearly 12,000 euros collected in less than 48 hours. Friday, November 22, Taha Bouhafs could have a smile. At 18 hours, the participatory pot that he had launched the day before on the Paypal platform already had an amount of 11,652 euros. Given the large number of anonymous donors (580), who have essentially paid modest sums (10, 20 or 30 euros) in the kitty, it seems that solidarity has played out for the 22-year-old journalist, author of the famous video showing Alexandre Benalla molesting demonstrators, May 1, 2018, Place de la Contrescarpe in Paris.
This financial support is decisive for Taha Bouhafs, whose year 2019 was eventful. For 'Là-bas si j'y suis', the online media that employs him on permanent contracts, the young reporter specializing in social conflicts has documented and denounced police violence during the movement of yellow vests. Inevitably, the relations were quickly strained with the members of the police force, many of which reproach him for his radical positions against the police.
Judicial proceedings multiply
Last March, he posted a tweet pointing to police responsibility in the tragic death of two young people in Grenoble, at the end of a chase with the police. Tweet which has earned him since a defamation procedure. Three months later, on June 11, his arrest for “insult and rebellion”During a rally in support of the undocumented, a 24-hour police custody was held by some 20 journalists' societies in the name of freedom of the press. Called to justice in February 2020, the journalist-militant counterattacked by filing a complaint for police violence.
In addition to these two court cases, his support for yellow vests, undocumented migrants, or his status as organizer of the controversial march against Islamophobia, November 10, make Taha Bouhafs the target of regular insults and threats, which he intends to bring some of the perpetrators to justice. All these legal proceedings represent a significant cost for the young reporter, whose remuneration would not fly much higher than the SMIC.
It's very heavy for a young man of 22 years
“I am today financially unable to assume alone the legal proceedings in which I find myself”, explains Taha Bouhafs, in the short text of presentation which accompanies his kitty. “As many procedures for a young man of 22 years with little means, it is very heavy” abounds his representative, Master Arié Alimi, who shares his battles. However, the latter has, by his own admission, “not yet billed a euro of fees” to his client. But the journalist must in particular advance the deposit – that is to say, the costs of civil party and bailiff fees – in the context of these procedures. “Taha Bouhafs also pays a fee to one of my colleagues, who represents him in a defamation case,” said Master Arié Alimi. The generosity of the 580 participants of the pool identified on Paypal Friday at 17 hours, should help him.
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