Six freed hostages from January’s Islamist attacks in Paris have filed a law suit against CNN affiliate BFMTV for endangering their lives during the ordeal. They allege that while brothers Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, were in the heat of a gun battle with Parisian police, BFMTV was broadcasting live and announcing the location of six individuals that were trapped but still in hiding inside a kosher grocery store’s refrigerator.
BFMTV released a statement last Friday, stating they “mentioned only once the presence of a woman hidden inside the Hyper Cacher, on the basis of police sources on the ground.” Furthermore, BFMTV stated “immediately, the chief editor felt that this information should not be released… BFMTV regrets that the mention of this information could cause concern to the hostages, as well as their relatives, that their lives were in danger.”
Attorney Patrick Klugman, who is representing the six former hostages, stated that media coverage of the attack “lacked the most basic of precautions” and put the six at high risk of being discovered or possibly worse. The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation of the media coverage to determine if any criminal charges should also be places for “putting other’s lives in danger“, according to spokesman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre.
Klugman stated the goal of the lawsuit was not to collect financial damages, but rather to make the media more accountable for their actions, and to ensure future coverage does not endanger the lives of others.