French publishing manager held in UK for obstructing police

LONDON (AP) — 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 Verso 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 Macron’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 La Fabrique, remained in custody.

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

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up