ISHR and Cameroon Women's Peace Movement (CAWOPEM) submitted critical information and recommendations intended to better protect the Anglophone population and other ethnic minorities in Cameroon.
Today, Amal Bentounsi, founder of UNPA, delivered a joint oral statement by ISHR and UNPA drawing the Council’s attention to racist police violence in France. The organisations recalled that France, as a member of the Council, should uphold the highest standards of human rights. Yet, when it comes to racially charged police violence, France is still far from achieving this, allowing a climate of impunity to persist when such violence occurs.
The statement denounced the ‘judicial delays, repeated dismissal or dismissal of cases, and even judicial harassment against victims of such violence, their relatives and their defenders.’ Indeed, there are few cases where police officers who commit violence and/or other racist behaviours are sanctioned. When such sanctions are imposed, they fall far short of the right to effective remedy in line with international standards. Referring to the case of her brother Amine, who was shot dead in the back, Amal Bentounsi pointed out that the police officer, although convicted, had only been given a short and suspended 5-year imprisonment sentence. No disciplinary sanction has been imposed against him to date. The statement recalled that this is just one of countless cases of fatal violence for which the families of victims have not received justice, many of them still awaiting trial after several years.
ISHR and UNPA call on France to ensure prompt, effective and independent investigations which are inclusive of victims’ families and ensure that perpetrators are held accountable, in order to provide real guarantees of non-repetition. The statement also called on France to support the work of defenders working on the issue, to refrain from criminalising them, and not to deprive them of their main working tool, namely the possibility to film when they witness police violence.
The signatories also reiterated their call to the High Commissioner for Human Rights to center victims and their families in the preparation of her report on police violence and systemic racism against people of African descent.
Watch the statement here :
Photo: UN WebTV
Comité Vérité et Justice pour Adama and ISHR highlighted the systemic racism in the French justice system and urged France to end impunity for police violence
At HRC49, ISHR and Global Black called on States to expose and oppose laws that curtail the ability to address racism and encourage countries to embrace history and data as evidence of a true commitment to build societies that are more just and equitable.