Amnesty Criticizes Arrests During Protests in Paris
According to the French branch of Amnesty International, many arrests that took place during demonstrations in Paris on December 12 last year were “arbitrary”.
On that day, tens of thousands of people demonstrated against tightening the controversial security law.
Of the 142 people who were arrested, “nearly 80 percent were not charged,” Amnesty said. According to Paris Prosecutor Remy Heitz, a similar percentage was achieved during protests by the yellow vest movement, which peaked in late 2018 and early 2019.
The human rights group, which previously joined groups that opposed the security law, says it had “legitimate concerns about the possibility of arbitrary arrests and other human rights violations.”
Anne-Sophie Simpere, the author of the report, said the December 12 protest march saw no “remarkable violence”. “Nothing seems to justify what happened in terms of arrests or charges.”
The investigation used police interviews, medical statements and court documents on 35 people arrested but not charged. Two of them were detained for nearly five hours, while the other 33 were not released until the next morning.
According to the Macron government, changing security law should lead to better protection for the police. After protests by thousands of French people in January, the government already decided to abandon the part that police officers could no longer be filmed in many cases.