FRANCE – The social movement now active in France in defence of families and children’s rights, inter alia on the occasion of very large demonstrations, is the subject of increasing and worrying repression that is unacceptable by a member State of the Council of Europe. Evidence of this repression comes from many videos, photos and eyewitness accounts.
At the demonstration of 24 March 2013, for example, large numbers of people, including some very young children, women and elderly persons, were unnecessarily subjected to violence and the use of gas by the police. People walking along the street are regularly arrested and penalised simply because they are wearing a garment or a badge bearing the movement’s logo. Accounts are pouring in of people being hit by the police. On 19 April a priest who was attempting to protect a young man was thrown to the ground, struck and taken into police custody. On 14 April 67 young people who were taking part in a peaceful vigil (candles, silence and songs) were arrested and taken into police custody.
On the other hand, violent movements such as the “Femen” increasingly attack demonstrators and places of worship with complete impunity.
Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Italy, EPP/CD, 30 April 2013