UN rights chief: France must change bill that bans filming police
The UN human rights chief on Wednesday joined those urging France to withdraw part of its controversial security bill, which seeks to ban the distribution of videos and photos identifying police.
"The law has to be discussed by the French people. But it's Article 24, the one we are really concerned about, and that is why we are mentioning that should be reviewed and should be, I guess, withdrawn," Michelle Bachelet said during a press conference in Geneva.
She spoke at a virtual meeting at the UN in Geneva on the eve of Human Rights Day, urging France and many other countries "to seriously examine its law enforcement practices, as well as systemic discriminatory practices and bias against certain racial groups.
"And of course, we urge French authorities to avoid taking actions that result in the stigmatization of entire groups."
Bachelet also called for "active steps to ensure groups are not stigmatized or have their human rights violated because of certain individuals".
France has been hit by a wave of street protests after the government of French President Emmanuel Macron introduced a controversial legislation, known as the Global Security Bill, last month.
Thousands of protesters marched in Paris on Saturday, denouncing police violence and the proposed bill that would vaguely criminalize the publication of images of on-duty police officers with an “obvious intention to harm.”
French police brutality has come to the spotlight last week when a video footage was circulating online, showing the violent arrest and beating of a Black music producer for not wearing a face mask — required under coronavirus restrictions.