World, Europe

UN rights chief urges France to change security law

Michelle Bachelet says France and other countries should seriously examine law enforcement practices

Peter Kenny   | 09.12.2020
UN rights chief urges France to change security law

GENEVA

The United Nations' human rights chief on Wednesday joined those urging France to withdraw an article of its controversial global security bill, which seeks to ban the distribution of videos and photos identifying law enforcement officers.

"The law has to be discussed by the French people. But it's Article 24, the one we are really concerned about, and that is why we are mentioning that should be reviewed and should be, I guess, withdrawn," Bachelet said during a press conference in Geneva.

She spoke at a hybrid meeting at the UN in Geneva on the eve of Human Rights Day, urging France and many other countries "to seriously examine its law enforcement practices, as well as systemic discriminatory practices and bias against certain racial groups.

"And of course, we urge French authorities to avoid taking actions that result in the stigmatization of entire groups."

She also called for "active steps to ensure groups are not stigmatized or have their human rights violated because of certain individuals".

Article 24 of the proposed law was included at the insistence of police unions.

It argues for "protecting those who protect us" and would prohibit the publication of images of police or other law-enforcement forces on the job. It prohibits them from being clearly identified for what has been called "malicious purposes".

The bill wants to impose one-year imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 Euros ($54,000) in punishment for distributing images of police officers and gendarmes that can potentially lead to their physical and psychological harm.

The tabling of the bill drew protests throughout France.

Protesters were also angry about videos showing police violently breaking up a migrant camp in Paris's heart and beating a Black music producer by police officers caught on security camera footage.

Four police officers have been charged in connection with that incident, said UN experts.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
Related topics
Bu haberi paylaşın