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UN Committee asks France to prosecute police officers responsible for online intimidation against Assa Traoré


It is a fly in the ointment, itself not very rosy. Friday, December 2, the United Nations (UN) Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) made public its observations on France’s policy towards its minorities. A periodic exercise, under the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination, during which he concerned himself with the“magnitude” racial hate speech, especially in the media and on social networks.

Unprecedented fact, in the midst of general remarks, the CERD spoke out on the personal case of Assa Traoré, the sister of Adama Traoré, a young man who died in 2016 after his arrest by the gendarmes. Assa Traoré has become a figure in the denunciation of police violence. Having come to Geneva on November 15 to be heard by CERD experts, like a host of representatives of civil society, ministries or independent authorities, she was subsequently the subject of many “messages of intimidation and threats” on line. The CERD asks France to prosecute in particular the police officers who are the authors of these defamatory messages and threats on Twitter.

In the ten-page public document that collects the “concerns and recommendations”the CERD addresses both the poor quality of reception of asylum seekers and unaccompanied foreign minors, the lack of training of public officials in the fight against discrimination, discrimination against Roma and Travellers, the difficulties access to education for children in Guyana and New Caledonia, the racial or ethnic profiling of police checks or the lack of follow-up of complaints of police violence.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers How Assa Traoré became a figure of anti-racism in France

In this regard, the Committee dwells on the Adama Traoré affair and recommends that France to conclude the investigation [sur son décès] so that those responsible are brought to justice and punished appropriately.. Above all, the Committee is concerned that his sister, Assa Traoré, is “victim of defamatory messages and online threats, in particular in the Twitter account of the police unions”. He “urge” France to ” to guarantee [sa] security “ and to “initiate criminal proceedings against State agents who are associated to these messages of intimidation and threats”.

Tweets from two police unions

The facts denounced by the CERD occurred after the arrival of Traoré in Geneva on November 15 to be heard by the CERD. The NGO International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) alerted the French ambassador to the UN, Jérôme Bonnafont, on 24 November. In a letter of which The world became aware, it enjoins France to protect Assa Traoré from any act of“Intimation and Retaliation”.

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