• The French government failed to pursue necessary reforms to counter abusive identity checks, including ethnic profiling. Migrant Roma living in informal camps continue to be forcibly evicted, leading to further social exclusion and precarious living conditions, and removed from France. Modifications to the Criminal Code allow prosecution of French citizens and legal residents for participating in terrorism training abroad. The French parliament passed a law that legalizes same-sex marriage. A new law allows for far-reaching surveillance by the government with no judicial oversight.

  • French Prime Minister Manuel Valls at a news conference on the new government bill for security and anti-terrorism at the Elysee Palace in Paris, March 19, 2015. The backdrop/screen reads : Surveillance law, protect while respecting civil liberties.
    Draft legislation authorizing sweeping powers of digital surveillance is inconsistent with France’s international human rights commitments, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, which has already won approval of the National Assembly’s Law Commission, would create a highly damaging model for other countries and should be reconsidered and revised, not rushed through the parliament.

Reports

France

  • Apr 6, 2015
    Draft legislation authorizing sweeping powers of digital surveillance is inconsistent with France’s international human rights commitments, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, which has already won approval of the National Assembly’s Law Commission, would create a highly damaging model for other countries and should be reconsidered and revised, not rushed through the parliament.
  • Feb 18, 2015
    When I was a child, my mother used to tell me how when he was only 11 years old, my grandfather left his hometown of Danzig (now Gdansk, in Poland), and traveled alone on a boat to England. My grandfather is Jewish and the trip saved his life.
  • Feb 11, 2015
    One month after the worst terrorist attack in Europe since Anders Breivik’s murder of 77 people in Norway, the contours of the response are becoming clear. Three areas stand out – new counterterrorism laws and policies; the related, though distinct, efforts to curb radicalisation and recruitment into terrorism, and a focus on tackling rising anti-Semitism.
  • Jan 29, 2015
    European Union leaders during 2014 were too often willing to sideline human rights at home when expedient in a year marked by success for populist and Eurosceptic parties in European Parliament elections and beyond, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. It highlights developments in 10 EU member states, EU human rights foreign policy, and Union-wide developments on migration and asylum, discrimination and intolerance, and counterterrorism.
  • Jan 20, 2015
    Asylum seekers and migrants living in destitution in the port city of Calais experience harassment and abuse at the hands of French police. The abuses described to Human Rights Watch include beatings and attacks with pepper spray as the migrants and asylum seekers walked in the street or hid in trucks in the hope of traveling to the United Kingdom.
  • Jan 16, 2015
  • Jan 13, 2015
  • Jan 13, 2015
  • Jan 8, 2015
    French authorities should bring to justice those responsible for the horrific attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015. The authorities should guard against backlash against French Muslims and ensure that their broader response protects human rights.
  • Jan 7, 2015