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France criticized for using excessive force against protesters

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The French government has used disproportionate force against demonstrators protesting pension reforms in violation of their freedom of assembly and expression, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic claimed.

Mijatovic described the circumstances of the pension protests as “concerning,” adding that “sporadic acts of violence by some demonstrators or other reprehensible acts committed by others during a demonstration cannot justify the excessive use of force by state agents.”

While some “violent incidents” have taken place, including against police, they are “not sufficient to deprive peaceful demonstrators of enjoying the right of freedom of assembly,” she said, adding that the French authorities must protect peaceful protesters.

 

 

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