Date
24 November 2017
Al-Jazeera said the three journalists were filming reported drone flights over Paris which saw a second night of mystery sightings Tuesday. Photo: NBC News
Al-Jazeera said the three journalists were filming reported drone flights over Paris which saw a second night of mystery sightings Tuesday. Photo: NBC News

Al-Jazeera journalists held over Paris drone flights

French police have arrested three Al-Jazeera journalists for allegedly illegally flying a drone over Paris.

Al-Jazeera said the journalists had been filming a report on recent mystery drones.

Authorities said there was no link between the arrests and the mysterious night time drone flights over Paris, BBC News reported Thursday.

Drones were spotted over Paris landmarks for a second night running on Tuesday.

Flying drones over Paris without a licence is illegal. Offenders face a maximum one-year prison sentence and an US$85,000 fine.

A judicial source told French news agency AFP that one of the suspects was piloting the drone, the second was filming and the third was watching.

The names and nationalities of the journalists have not been released. Al-Jazeera is a Qatar-based satellite TV channel.

It’s illegal for any aircraft to fly lower than 6,000 meters over central Paris.

Flying any aircraft under that ceiling including drones, police helicopters and air ambulances requires permission from city authorities.

Flying a drone at night is banned completely.

In October, a 24-year-old Israeli tourist was fined 400 euros and spent a night in jail after flying a drone over the city’s historic Hotel Dieu hospital and a police station.

Unidentified drones have been spotted across the country in the past year, most recently over the presidential palace and a bay in Brittany that houses nuclear submarines, as well as over nuclear power plants.

French authorities have opened an inquiry into the flights but government spokesman Stephane Le Foll ruled out any security concern.

“There is nothing to worry about,” he told reporters.

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CG/RA

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