Rights guard urges France to fight racial discrimination | World


PARIS (AP) – France human rights watchdog Monday urged authorities to take key steps to combat racial discrimination as the country has experienced a series of anti-racism rallies in the wake of the death of George Floyd in the USA

In an 80-page report in France by human rights defender Jacques Toubon, said discrimination affects the lives of millions of people and their human rights in the country.

“People of foreign origins, or perceived as them, are disadvantaged in terms of access to employment or housing, and more exposed to unemployment, poverty, unhealthy housing, from police to police checks. ‘identity, poor health and inequality education,’ Toubon said in a statement.

Statistics and scientific studies show that racial discrimination has a “systemic dimension” in French society, Toubon noted.

The report is that the two Paris statues for colonial-era France were smeared with red paint on Monday amid growing demands from anti-racist activists in several countries to take down monuments that honor prominent historical figures who played a role in the slave trade or colonialism.

Also on Monday, dozens of people gathered peacefully in front of and in support of a mural to denounce racism and brutality by the police in Les Taches, near Paris. Protesters gathered in response to a protest union police authorization demanding its withdrawal.

The police union has claimed responsibility for the mural “generalizes and confuses” the police over racism and violence, which they denounce as false charges.

The fresco was painted by local artists and inaugurated by the Mayor’s spots last week in tribute to Adama Traore, a French black who died in police custody in 2016. Traore died in 2016, in circumstances that remain unclear despite four years of back-and-forth autopsies.

Mostly blacks, from North Africa and a few white people attended the demonstration organized by Traore of his supporters.

Josué Isakwa, 17, who came to protest against police violence and racism. “When we were kids, grown-ups didn’t tell us about it, and we laughed about it,” he said.

But at around 15, Isakwa said he attended his first police instance to slap and harass people. “I remember it very vividly, it was the first day of Ramadan, a Sunday,” he said.

There was no police presence during the demonstration and he dispersed peacefully an hour later.

In his report, the human rights defender said that “people identified as blacks and Arabs are subject to prejudice and discrimination on a systemic basis in their dealings with the police.”

Toubon proposed the creation of a body to better monitor the situation in the country and organize national test campaigns to uncover racial discrimination in hiring, housing and in business.

He also proposed tougher rules for police identity checks and legal changes to make it easier to prove cases of discrimination in court and to ensure the “deterrent” sanctions.

AP journalist Arno Pedram contributed to the story of Taches.

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