The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs

Paris - June 29, 2018
In this issue:

◢  Israel – Situation of Mr. Hammouri

◢  Russia

◢  U.S. / Russia

◢  Turkey

Israel – Situation of Mr. Hammouri

The Israeli defense minister notified Salah Hammouri that his administrative detention would be extended for three months. We can only regret this decision, which the Israeli court will rule on in the coming days.

As Jean-Yves Le Drian told the National Assembly on February 22, "Since Mr. Hammouri's arrest, we have continued to send specific demands to the Israeli authorities to end his administrative detention." During his meetings with the Israeli Prime Minister, President Macron himself brought up Salah Hammouri's situation and demanded an end to his administrative detention.

Pending his release, which we hope will be soon, Salah Hammouri will continue to enjoy the consular protection provided by the Vienna Convention, under which he has been able to receive regular visits from French consular authorities since the beginning of his detention.

The Israeli defense minister has again asked for three months of administrative detention for the French (and Palestinian) attorney Salah Hammouri. This is the third time, as he was held first for six months, and then for four months since August 2017. If nothing is done, Salah Hammouri will have served a sentence of 13 months in prison without any charges having been leveled against him. His lawyers no longer have access to a file that is "secret." He cannot see his French wife, who is banned from Israeli territory, or his two-year-old son. There's nothing to say that at the end of these three months, the Israeli government won't continue holding him in September, because administrative detentions can be renewed endlessly.

Asked about this by Humanité on June 27, you said you "regretted this decision, which the Israeli courts were to rule on in a few days," and asserted that President Macron brought up Salah Hammouri's case with Benjamin Netanyahu. My questions are as follows:
1) What reply did you receive from the Israeli authorities?
2) Concretely, what measures are you considering to force Israel to release this French citizen?
3) Why don't you speak about his case publicly as you have done with other imprisoned French citizens?

We refer you to the statement we just made.


According to the media, France is demanding the extradition of the Russian national Alexander Vinnik, who was arrested on charges of money laundering in Greece at the request of the United States. Can you confirm this information? What sentence might he receive in France?

We refer you to the Justice Ministry.

U.S. / Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet in mid-July in Helsinki, where they will discuss prospects for expanding Russian-U.S. relations as well as current international issues. How to you assess the agreement to meet?

We noted the announcement of this meeting.


I learned of the conditional release of the Turkish journalist Mehmet Altan, who was sentenced to life in prison in connection with the failed coup of 2016. Do you have any response?

We are heartened by Mr. Altan's conditional release, pronounced on Wednesday by an Istanbul court, in respect of the decree by the Constitutional Court which had determined that his incarceration constituted a violation of his rights. France is committed to the right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression; we call on Turkey to respect its commitments on the rule of law and fundamental liberties.

France in the
United States
Embassy of France in Washington, D.C.
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