Lille (AFP)

Two students from the Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme de Lille (ESJ) were arrested Thursday on the sidelines of the demonstration against the pension reforms in Lille, according to concordant sources.

"The ESJ Lille is informed of the arrest of two of its students.The elements in our possession lead us to think that they were arrested for taking pictures of police officers in intervention.The freedom to take pictures during manifestation is a right, "tweeted the school.

"We defend this right for professional journalists and future journalists, attempts to restrict this right through intimidation or legislative amendments are not acceptable, and we condemn them firmly," she added.

A police source confirmed to AFP these arrests but gave a different version, evoking violence against the police and a refusal to obey.

"A young man was arrested in the late afternoon Republic Square for willful violence on police officer," said the source.

"A priori, his colleagues did not know the reason for this arrest and therefore went to the police station around 18H00.That is when a second student was arrested for gathering despite the regulatory summons when he refused to leave the premises. "

Both students were in custody on Thursday night.

Some 1,200 people demonstrated Thursday afternoon in the center of Lille against the pension reform, according to the prefecture of the North.

© 2019 AFP