INDEPENDENT NEWS

UN denounce right restrictions on “gilets jaunes" protesters

Published: Fri 15 Feb 2019 09:43 AM
The right to protest in France has been disproportionately curtailed during the recent “gilets jaunes” protests and the authorities should rethink their law enforcement policies to guarantee the exercise of freedoms, say a group of UN human rights experts*.
“Since the start of the yellow vest protest movement in November 2018, we have received serious allegations of excessive use of force. More than 1,700 people have been injured as a result of the protests across the country,” the experts said.
“The restrictions on rights have also resulted in a high number of arrests and detentions, searches and confiscations of demonstrators' possessions, and serious injuries have been caused by a disproportionate use of so-called ‘non-lethal’ weapons like grenades and defensive bullets or ‘flashballs’,” they added.
"Ensuring public order and security in the context of crowd management or event management measures implies the need to respect and protect protesters who peacefully participate in a demonstration to express themselves,” the experts stressed.
“We are aware that some demonstrations have become violent and have spilled over but we fear that the disproportionate response to these excesses may deter the population from continuing to exercise its fundamental freedoms. It is very disturbing to note that despite weeks of demonstrations, the restrictions and tactics of managing rallies and the use of force have not improved.”
The experts also expressed deep concern about a proposed law claiming to prevent violence during demonstrations and to punish the perpetrators, pointing out that some of the provisions of this law are not in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which France is a Party.
“The proposed administrative ban on demonstrations, the establishment of additional control measures and the imposition of heavy sanctions constitute severe restrictions on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. These provisions can be applied arbitrarily and lead to extremely serious abuses,” the experts emphasized.
"We encourage France to rethink its law enforcement policies and encourage the French authorities to establish avenues for dialogue to reduce tension and to recognize the important and legitimate role that social movements play in governance,” the experts said.

Next in World

250 Groups Urge WTO Chief To Ditch Pharma-Friendly Approach And Embrace Vaccine Patent Waiver
By: Common Dreams
Samoa’s Stunning Election Result: On The Verge Of A New Ruling Party For The First Time In 40 Years
By: The Conversation
Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods
By: UN News
Growing Calls For Revamping Development Financing To Ensure Sustainable Global Recovery From COVID-19 Pandemic
By: United Nations
How Can We Vaccinate The World? Five Challenges Facing The UN-backed COVAX Programme
By: UN News
UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Message For World Health Day 2021
By: UN Department of Global Communications
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media