FRANCE: Point Droit – Monitoring police practices amid COVID-19 crisis

Article originally published in French on LDH website, 25 March 2020 – accessible here

In the context of the current health crisis, the French authorities have adopted containment measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. Traffic restrictions have been issued to deal with this exceptional situation.
However, in the implementation of these measures, the Paris Observatory of Public Freedoms regrets the creation of a climate of mistrust and a logic of repression, instead of a real desire to create a calm and constructive atmosphere. In this respect, the lack of precision in the legal framework surrounding the monitoring missions of the police forces entails obvious risks of arbitrary decisions and disproportionate use of force, which have already begun to materialise.
After five days of confinement, the Observatory was able to identify, through video, oral or written testimonies, several disproportionate reactions of the police forces in the context of their daily monitoring tasks
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