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Decision Likely to Have Chilling Effect on Civil Society in France and Beyond

On September 24, France’s top administrative court, the Council of State, approved the French authorities’ December 2020 dissolution of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a leading anti-discrimination group. The court’s decision…
Protesters hold a banner at a demonstration against a bill dubbed as "anti-separatism" and islamophobic in Paris, France on March 21, 2021.
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Police Handed Enhanced Powers to Infiltrate Phones and Computers

The German parliament amended two laws on June 10th granting enhanced surveillance powers to segments of the federal police and intelligence services. They allow the use of spyware to hack into phones and computers circumventing encryption used by…
The logo of the messenger app Whatsapp is seen on the screen of a smartphone on April 28th, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.
News

Arms Sales to Rights-Abusing Countries Fuel Atrocities Against Civilians

Last week, the French government published its latest report on arms exports, documenting sales and transfers throughout 2019. After Qatar, the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt received the greatest amounts, accounting for €1.4 billion and €1.0…
French-made Leclerc tanks of the Saudi-led coalition are deployed on the outskirts of the Yemeni port city of Aden during a military operation, August 3, 2015.
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Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, More Than 70 Countries Participate in Online Meeting

This week, Germany convened the first-ever major digital disarmament meeting for governments and civil society. Representatives from more than 70 countries logged on to participate in the two-day meeting on lethal autonomous weapons…
Artists and activists participate in a Campaign to Stop Killer Robots event outside Germany’s parliament, February 2020.
News

Other Dangerous Crowd Control Weapons Remain in Use

This week, France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced that French police would stop using the controversial GLI-F4 tear gas grenade. This move is long overdue, but doesn’t address serious concerns about other weapons…
Protester picks up a tear gas grenade during a police charge on December 8, 2019 on the Champs Elysees, Paris.
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Need Better Protection for Holy Sites and Comprehensive Efforts to Combat Rising Hate

The attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany on Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day of the year, is a terrifying reminder that the scourge of anti-Semitism persists in Europe today. A woman and a man were killed…
People mourn in front of a synagogue in Halle, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.
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Merkel should Raise Rights Concerns, Call for Activist’s Release

It’s been four years since a Kyrgyz president visited Germany, a period of change and some progress. In October 2017, Kyrgyzstan held competitive, peaceful elections ushering in a new president. The country has started negotiations to upgrade…
Kyrgyz President-elect Sooronbai Jeenbekov (front) attends an inauguration ceremony at the Ala-Archa state residence outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan November 24, 2017.
News

Free Journalists, Rights Defenders, Politicians Jailed in Turkey

Given the present state of human rights in Turkey, the German government has come in for criticism over the elaborate plans for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey’s upcoming visit on September 28 and 29, including a state banquet…
From left to right: Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak
News

Court Ruled Provision Was Too Restrictive of Freedoms

France’s legislators have again been reminded that imprisoning people who look at websites perceived as glorifying or inciting terrorism is not acceptable in a democratic society – not least because France already has an extensive legal…
A woman holds her smart phone which displays the Google home page, in this picture illustration taken February 24, 2016.
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A Leader in Rejecting Weapons So Deadly to Civilians

France has completed the destruction of its stockpile of 34,876 cluster munition rockets and artillery projectiles that contained 14.9 million explosive submunitions, meeting a key obligation of the international ban treaty. It has also strongly condemned…
A pile of shoes during the annual demonstration by NGO Humanity and Inclusion denouncing antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions in Lyon on September 20, 2014.
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Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is visiting Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan this week – three countries plagued by serious human rights abuses. Uzbekistan has one of the world’s worst human rights records; Tajikistan is in the…
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier attends a news conference after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov (not pictured) in Moscow, Russia, March 23, 2016.
News
The recent attacks by the extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) around the world have deepened our sense of vulnerability and increased demands that government protect our security. But the horrific crimes in Paris and elsewhere should not…
A lock icon, signifying an encrypted Internet connection, is seen on an Internet Explorer browser in a photo illustration in Paris, April 15, 2014.
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France has just enacted a law that allows state intelligence agencies to spy on millions of its own citizens. Of course, France has the right to protect its people from terrorism, especially in light of the terrible Charlie…
france surveillance
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“The [French] Republic is freedom of expression,” said President Francois Hollande on January 7 in reaction to the horrific attack against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead. But is it really? A wave of cases opened by the…
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France is still in shock. On January 10 and 11, millions of people around the world rallied to express their outrage after the murder of 17 innocent people – some because they worked at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, others because they were Jews,…
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France made the wrong decision when it banned controversial comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, known for appallingly and insultingly mocking the Holocaust, from performing a number of his stand-up shows. As a descendant of victims of the Holocaust, whose…
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Today, Facebook issued its first transparency report, surprising no one in saying that the US government has made more requests for user data than any other country. US surveillance practices are only one of the reasons the country leads the pack:…