The Council of Europe warns France for excessive use of force against protesters

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovicwarned this Friday of the “excessive use of force” against protesters who oppose Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform in France.

“Sporadic acts of violence by certain protesters or other reprehensible acts committed by other people during the demonstration cannot justify excessive use of force by state agents,” the commissioner said in a statement.

Mijatovic has stressed that the actions of the security forces cannot deprive peaceful protesters of the right of assembly and that the use of force to control the demonstration “should be the last resort in strict respect of conditions of necessity and proportionality”.

The commissioner has also shown her concern about the arrest of protesters who were in the vicinity of the march. “Violence, wherever it comes from, cannot be used as a means to resolve a social or political crisis,” said the commissioner, who also condemned the injuries suffered by law enforcement officers “in practices that were already seen in 2019,” in related to the yellow vest crisis.

Contrary to what was stated by the French Minister of the Interior, Gerald DarmaninMijatovic considered that participation in an undeclared demonstration is not a crime.

The situation, in any case, does not seem to be normalizing with sectors such as transport or industry on strike and the impact they are beginning to have on the economy.

The authorities They have had to cancel 30% of the flights in the Parisian airport of Orly and 20% in those of Marseille, Bordeaux and Lyon. On Saturday they will be 15% in Orly, 33% on Sunday and 20% on Monday.

The interruption of the activities of the airlines is due, on the one hand, to the direct action of the demonstrations, and, indirectly, due to the blockades to country refinerieswhich causes problems in fuel supply.

The gonfreville refineryin Normandy (north-west), has been blocked by pickets organized by protesters, which has led to the intervention of law enforcement to reactivate its access and be able to re-establish refueling routes in France.

The Donges refinery next to the port of Saint Nazaire (west), has been in a similar situation, since the blockades have caused gasoline, diesel or both products run out in 15% of the country’s gas stations.

In the hostelrycompanies estimate that social protests are already costing them a 10-20% drop in activity in hotels and 25% in restaurants, as well as a reduction in reservations and even cancellations.

Carlos III will not go to France due to the uncontrolled situation

The king Charles III He has delayed his planned visit to France for this Sunday, given the lack of control in the streets due to the demonstrations against the pension reform. According to the British authorities, it was Macron who proposed this postponement.

Macron explained after the meeting of EU leaders that that decision was “common sense” because “we would not be serious” if a state visit like that, the first that the new monarch was going to make abroad, took place “in the midst of the demonstrations.”

The monarch’s visit was to coincide with the tenth day of mobilizations called for this Tuesday by the unions. The scenes of violence seen in Paris and other French cities have caused shock in the country and abroad, for which they have decided by mutual agreement to delay the meeting.

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