Police abuse goes unchecked in France


french-riot-policeoriginally published: 2nd April 2009

French police have been accused of committing gross human rights violations – often against ethnic minorities – for which they are seldom brought to justice, says a new Amnesty International report.

Allegations of unlawful killings, beatings, racial abuse and excessive use of force by France’s police officers are rarely investigated effectively.

“In a climate where police abuse can go unchecked, the pattern of de facto impunity with regard to law enforcement officials in France is unacceptable,” said David Diaz-Jogeix, Deputy Director of the Europe and Central Asia Programme at Amnesty International.

Procedures for investigating complaints against the police in France fail to meet standards required by international law. Victims of or witnesses to police ill-treatment increasingly find themselves charged with the criminal offences of insulting or assaulting a police officer.

Amnesty International’s research shows that the vast majority of complaints concern French citizens from ethnic minorities or foreign nationals.

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