French rights groups warn against complacency

AP , Sunday 24 Apr 2022

Rights groups have breathed a sigh of relief at Marine Le Pen's failure to become French president, but warned against complacency and urged the victor, Emmanuel Macron, to fight racial profiling and discrimination against Muslims, and better protect migrants.

French President Emmanuel Macron, center, greets supporters after reports of his reelection Sunday, April 24, 2022 in Paris. AFP


Cecile Coudriou, head of Amnesty International France, cited ``egregious human rights failings'' under Macron's presidency including ``France's treatment of refugees and asylum at its borders, systemic discrimination in the form of ethnic profiling by police, disproportionate and dangerously vague counter-terror laws, curbs to the right to protest, intrusive surveillance that impacts the right to privacy, failing to uphold climate commitments and selling arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.''

Antiracism group SOS Racisme said : ``This victory, which might look large in a cursory analysis, is not so much a victory as a relief. The reality is that Marine Le Pen ... has progressed by about eight points in five years.''

It criticized Macron's law against so-called ``separatism'' by radical Muslims and government ministers' criticism of ``wokeism'' or ``Islamo-leftism.'' It blamed Macron's ``arrogance, (economic) liberalism, brutalization of the social movement and nods to the far right'' for worsening tensions in France. ``It is definitely not neutral to help trivialize the far right by `choosing' it as its opposition and winking at it,`` it said.

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