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France slammed for ‘excessive force’ against protests – RT World News

Violence must stop, says Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

The French government has used disproportionate force against demonstrators protesting against the pension reform, in violation of their freedom of assembly and expression, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner said on Friday. Europe, Dunja Mijatovic.

Mijatovic described the circumstances of the pension protests as “re,” adding that “Sporadic acts of violence by some protesters or other wrongdoing by others during a protest cannot justify excessive use of force by state agents.

While some “violent incidents” have taken place, including against the police, they are “not sufficient to deprive peaceful protesters of the right to freedom of assembly”, she said, adding that the French authorities have the obligation to protect peaceful protesters and journalists. both police violence and fringe protesters.

“While a State may have the power to use force, in particular to restore order, such use must only take place as a last resort and in strict compliance with the conditions of necessity and proportionality. said the commissioner. “Violence, wherever it comes from, can in no way be used as a means of resolving a social and/or political crisis.”

Mijatovic called on President Emmanuel Macron’s government to comply with the Commission’s 2019 recommendations regarding the “yellow vest” protests, as well as those issued by the French human rights commission earlier this week.

The National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH) said on Thursday that during the week-long protests, police had “boiled” peaceful demonstrators and summarily arrested them without cause. The fact that only nine of the 292 people arrested in Paris on March 16 have been charged with offenses suggests “excessive use of police custody” as a way to cool legitimate protests, the CNCDH said.

Demonstrations against the pension reform drew more than a million people across France on Thursday. Bypassing the legislature, Macron had used executive privilege to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. Although unions and opposition parties denounced the measure, Macron refused to budge.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said Friday morning that nearly 450 police and gendarmes had been injured and that rioters had started more than 900 fires in the streets. He blamed “leftmost” groups and “black block” anarchists for violence.

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