Iran slams French police violence against protesters
Iran has condemned the violence by French police against anti-government demonstrators, saying the move bespeaks France’s non-adherence to democratic principles and freedom of speech.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kana’ani made the comment in a post on his Twitter account on Sunday.
The excessive force exerted by the French police came during the latest round of mass protests over President Emmanuel Macron’s contentious pension reform.
“The action of the French police in resorting to violence against protesting citizens of the country is unacceptable and shows the French government’s lack of commitment to the principles of democracy and freedom of expression,” Kana’ani said in a Persian-language tweet.
“We advise the French government to avoid duplicitous behavior and instrumental use of human rights and stop resorting to violence against protesters,” he added.
France has over the past weeks been the scene of protests and unrest after the government pressed ahead with the approval of a controversial draft bill claimed to reform the country's pension policy.
Through his proposed reforms, Macron is pushing to raise the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64, saying it is vital if the country is to avoid the collapse of the state pension system.
Raising the retirement age by two years and extending the pay-in period would yield an additional 17.7 billion euros ($19.18 billion) in annual pension contributions, allowing the system to break even by 2027, according to Labor Ministry estimates.
Outrage flared on Thursday afternoon after the Macron administration invoked a controversial constitutional power to impose the pension overhaul by decree, using a special procedure to push its pension reform without a vote in the French parliament.