Home >> General >> France: Shocking Report of Police Treatment of Minorities
France: Shocking Report of Police Treatment of Minorities

France: Shocking Report of Police Treatment of Minorities

Human Rights Watch has accused French police of using broad powers to conduct abusive identity checks on black and Arab young men and boys despite the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing.

HRW warned in its report on Thursday 26th January 2011, that unwarranted checks and intimate searches, on top of police insults, were damaging police-community relations.

“It’s shocking that young black and Arab kids can be, and are, arbitrarily forced up against walls and manhandled by the police with no real evidence of wrongdoing,” said HRW western Europe researcher Judith Sunderland.

“But if you are a young person in some neighborhoods in France, it’s a part of life.”

France: Shocking Report of Police Treatment of Minorities

Tension between the police and the community contributed to widespread rioting in French suburbs in 2005. HRW criticised the fact that the searches were not recorded by police and that officers did not give any explanation to those people they searched.

Police increasingly touched youths’ private parts during humiliating pat-downs, according to testimony collected by HRW: they could also slap, kick or use electroshock weapons against suspects during arbitrary searches. If a youth asked why he was being searched, he could be charged with “insulting an officer”, a very broad charge under French law, inhibiting people from asserting their rights, HRW said.

Police called children as young as 13 “dirty negro”, HRW said.

It also quoted a youth in the northern city of Lille who said he had been called “dirty Arab” so many times “it doesn’t shock us anymore — it’s normal.”

The testimony “adds to statistical and anecdotal evidence indicating that police in France use ethnic profiling — making decisions about whom to stop based on appearance, including race and ethnicity,” HRW said.

“Frankly, police-community relations in France are dismal, and everyone knows it,” Sunderland said. “Taking concrete steps to prevent abusive identity checks — one of the main sources of tension — would be a real step forward and would make a genuine difference in people’s daily lives.” A national police spokesman denounced the report as unfair, said this is a “caricature” of the force.

“This report, which clearly cannot be considered scientific, presents a caricature of the national police,” said spokesman Pascal Garibian. “It is even quite shocking when it makes reference to ethnic profiling.”

The Local

Have Your Say


Check Also

Boko Haram Massacre: Black West Africa Not A Priority, CNN Interview

Since the death of 17 people in Paris gained worldwide attention while the alleged killing of over 2,000 people in a Northern Nigerian village hardly got any media attention or ...

Paris Unity March: Crowd Gather In Solidarity For Charlie Hebdo Attacks

Today is a very special and memorable day in France as over a million people and dozens of world leaders gather together and march through Paris in a historic display of ...

Video: People In France And Around The World Mourn Charlie Hebdo Victims

People in France and around the world mourned Charlie Hebdo victims that were murdered mercilessly by two terrorist brother who are still on the run. The Kouachi brothers, Cherif and Said are French citizens ...

#JeSuisCharlie Trends As French Satirical Magazine Gets Support Worldwide

#JeSuisCharlie is currently trending on Twitter as French Satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, gets support from thousands of Twitter users after the massacre that took place at its office in Paris ...

%d bloggers like this: