friday, 15 february of 2019


UN rights experts condemn France crackdown on public demonstrations

A group of experts from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have condemned the harsh crackdown by France on public protest and demonstrations.

According to the report, the government of France has increasingly restricted human rights—particularly those of free demonstration—in response to the rise of the gilets jaunes (“yellow jackets”) protest movement since November 2018. That movement, which started as a protest of economic disparity, has largely remained a peaceful protest movement involving the obstruction of roadways and fuel depots. The report accuses France of an increased use of excessive force dealing with the protesters and cautions France that the use of excessive force even through non-lethal means may lead to citizens not exercising their fundamental freedoms at all.

The report also takes aim at a new proposed french law aimed to curb demonstrations. The new law would allow French police to ban individuals from participating in protest and mandate a six-month prison sentence and USD $8,500 fine on protesters, which increases to a one year sentence and $17,000 fine if the protester is wearing a covering or mask. The report claims some provisions of the law are in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which France is a signatory. The report implores France to rethink its approach to law enforcement for the good of its citizens, but has no particular binding power on France.

(Published by Jurtist, Fbeurary 14, 2019)

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