BBC Following sightings of 5 mystery drones flying over Paris landmarks and high-security buildings including the U.S. embassy, French Authorities today arrested three Al-Jazeera journalists for the alleged illegal flying of a drone in Paris after being spotted by police in the Bois de Boulogne area.
Al-Jazeera said the journalists had been “filming a report on the city’s recent mystery drones,” Drones were spotted over city landmarks for a second night running on Tuesday. Flying drones over Paris without a licence is banned by law. The offence carries a maximum one-year prison sentence and a €75,000 (£55,000; $85,000) fine.
A judicial source told AFP news agency of the three people arrested: “The first 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 is against the law for any aircraft to fly lower than 6,000m (19,700ft) 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.
The 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. (Riiiight! Sure there isn’t)