The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights found that the use of defense ball launchers (LBD) caused too serious injuries.
The Council of Europe on Tuesday called for “suspending the use” of defense ball launchers (LBD) in law enforcement operations in France to “better respect human rights”. They were used during the demonstrations of “yellow vests”.
In a memorandum published on Tuesday on the movement of “yellow vests”, containing his comments after a visit to Paris in January, Dunja Mijatovic invites “the French authorities to better respect human rights” as part of the movement.
In the “expectation of a review of the doctrine of the use of intermediate strength weapons”, the French authorities should “suspend the use of the LBD in law enforcement operations,” said the Commissioner. Human Rights Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatovic.
The commissioner also urges the authorities not to introduce “excessive restrictions on the freedom of peaceful assembly” through the controversial “anti-corruption” bill passed in early February by the National Assembly.
The Commissioner “strongly condemns the violence committed against members of the police” and “deplores the significant number of wounded in their ranks”. It also recalls that their “primary task (…) is to protect citizens and their human rights”.
On February 4, 2060 people were injured among the demonstrators, including 69 in absolute emergencies, and 1325 people were injured on the side of the police as part of the movement, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, says the Commissioner in her memorandum.
The text is expected to return to the Senate on March 12 for a second reading, with the government seeking swift final adoption in the context of the “yellow vests” crisis.
Dunja Mijatovic, in particular, recommends not to introduce an administrative prohibition to demonstrate, “a serious interference in the exercise of this right”, but also to renounce to “criminalize the willful concealment ‘without any legitimate reason’ of all or part of the face in the immediate vicinity of an event “.