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Paris attacks hostage sues media for endangering his life

PARIS -- The Paris prosecutors' office says an investigation has been opened after one of the hostages in the January attacks around Paris accused some television and radio stations of having put his life in danger and sued them.

Twenty people were killed, including the three attackers, in the Islamic extremist attacks around Paris that ended with police raids on a printing plant and a kosher supermarket where hostages were being held.

At the printing plant north of Paris, hostage Lilian Lepere was hiding in a cupboard under a sink, apparently unknown to the gunmen, when at least three television and radio stations revealed his possible presence.

Lepere described the ordeal in a January interview with French TV station France 2, according to Sky News.

"The brain stops thinking, heart stops beating, breath is stopped and you wait, because that is the only thing you can do," Lepere said.

He was eventually released unharmed.

Lepere's lawyer, Antoine Casubolo Ferro, told The Associated Press that the complaint aims to increase media awareness of life-threatening situations.

"Delivering information without careful consideration may lead to endanger other's lives. Journalists must think of it," he said.

In April, families of hostages in the kosher supermarket sued a French broadcaster over its live coverage of the attack, citing similar reasons.

On January 9, as the police surrounded the printing plant, lawmaker Yves Albarello revealed on radio station RMC that an employee was hiding in the building.

Later, Lepere's sister Cindy confirmed in an interview to public television station France 2 that she believed her brother to be in the plant and that the family had stopped calling him in order to not compromise his hiding. Meanwhile, a journalist of TF1 television also reported the information.

In February, France's broadcasting watchdog issued formal warnings to 16 French television and radio stations over their coverage of terrorist attacks, hostage-takings and police standoffs.

The watchdog agency, known as CSA, notably accused the stations of putting the lives of hostages in danger. It also reprimanded two stations for broadcasting images of radical gunmen shooting a policeman in the head outside the offices of newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

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