FRANCE: Toulouse prosecutor asked the police to enter the homes of people who had placed banners on balconies

Article originally published in French on LDH website, 27 April 2020 – accessible here

Communiqué LDH

The public prosecutor of Toulouse asked the police to enter the homes of people who had placed banners on their balconies saying “Macronavirus, when will it end?”.

Police officers therefore went to the homes of these dangerous offenders and took them into custody on the legal basis of “contempt for a person who is a representative of public authority”.

In addition to the ridicule that the prosecutor is suffering and which he does not seem to be aware of, it is his deliberate desire to attack freedom of expression, even when used in ironic terms, that is of concern.

The public prosecutor of the Republic of Toulouse, who is responsible, under the terms of his statute, for ensuring respect for the freedom of all, uses a criminal offence that is misused for the purpose of intimidating and silencing political opponents.

The Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH) looks forward to hearing the reaction of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary to such zeal, but also to the lack of known follow-up to the numerous complaints filed against the violence committed by the police during the demonstrations of recent months.

By allowing the public prosecutor to act in such a partisan manner, it is the judicial institution itself that loses credibility.