France’s main police force said Friday that its anti-propaganda unit did not have the authority to produce propaganda leaflets for French citizens and local governments.
The “propaganda” unit, part of the National Directorate of Anti-Corruption, or DNAC, said in a statement that the directive did not allow them to issue leaflets in French and it was not in their power to do so.
The statement was posted on DNAC’s official website and referred to the directive that the CNRS had issued on February 13, saying that the unit was authorized to issue the materials and “if the CNRP finds that such materials contain information that could endanger the lives of the French people, it shall take appropriate measures.”
The directive also said that the units that have been authorized to produce the materials “may not use them to harm public order or public order guarantees.”
CNRS was the only French government agency to issue a similar directive last month, after police in Paris were accused of using the same leaflets in an anti-terror operation.
CNRS said it would be providing information on the directive to authorities and to the public.
It’s not clear what CNRS is referring to in the directive.
CNRP spokesman Emmanuel Leroy said the directive does not say the CNRB, or CNRS, must “produce propaganda.”
Leroy also said CNRS would “issue a statement” to the media on Friday to explain its decision.
In January, the CNRL banned the sale of anti-government leaflets.
In February, the police force, which is part of CNRS but does not belong to the CNRG, issued a similar decree.
CNRL President Christophe Castaner said he could not comment on the matter since he was not part of it.
The CNRL has been in the news recently after a court in Nice convicted a police officer of inciting violence after he allegedly posted anti-Semitic messages on Facebook.