French police detain German TV team and immigration protestors

French police detained a camera team from Germany’s Deutsche Welle television and 18 rights activists they were filming protesting against the European Union’s immigration policy.

The team, covering informal talks between EU interior ministers in the Riviera resort city of Cannes on Monday, was held for about half an hour, said Frank Hofmann, a member of the TV crew.

He said police invited them to “go back to Belgium”, where they are based. A police spokesman, meanwhile, said they held in custody three rights activists preparing to unfurl a banner at the venue, in defiance of a ban by local authorities on any protests in the city during the meeting. Fifteen other protestors with a single letter on their T-shirts that together spelled “no to a European bunker” were also held, but were released once their identity papers were checked, he said. He could not confirm whether the television crew was detained.

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaüble, when asked about the incident, said: “I’m going to find out what happened and I will take whatever action is necessary.”

During their talks, the ministers gave the green light to sweeping new guidelines for EU immigration, which would better control legal immigration, while cracking down on those entering the bloc illegally.