Skip to Content

French police use excessive violence towards protesters
Paris

The use of flash balls by French police challenged by ophthalmologists

Ophthalmologists told a French Sunday news edition that the use of flash ball pistols has become unprecedented after the United Nations launched an inquiry into the crowd-control weapons last week.

Published: March 11, 2019, 7:08 am

    Read more

    The Journal du Dimanche reported on March 10, that a group of 35 ophthalmologists sent a letter to the Elysee in February, to alert the President of the Republic on the use of flash balls(LBD) by the police.

    From their point of view as doctors, the situation is unprecedented and in early February, 35 ophthalmologists sent a letter to the Elysee to warn Emmanuel Macron about the dangers.

    “Mr President, such an ‘epidemic’ of serious eye injuries has never before occurred ,” say the authors of the text, including “renowned hospital ophthalmologists, professors and university lecturers”, according to the weekly.

    Specialists are calling for a “moratorium” in the use of these intermediate weapons. It is the lack of response from the Head of State who pushed them to make the mail public, they say. “Our approach is only that of doctors, purely humanitarian, with the sole purpose of avoiding other mutilations,” they add, stating that they want to avoid triggering a “polemic” discussion.

    These 35 doctors even talk of “disabling weapons”. Professor Bahram Bodaghi, head of the Ophthalmology Department at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, noted: “We have seen people (with emergencies) suffering from very serious ocular or facial lesions. Most give rise to irreversible outcomes.”

    Faced with the repeated use of the LBDs, the signatories do not hesitate to mention an “epidemic” of mutilations.

    The United Nations has meanwhile launched an inquiry into the use of excessive violence towards protesters, citing France during the Yellow Vest protests as an example, alongside with developing countries Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Haiti.

    The “in-depth investigation” was announced by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and France is the only developed nation on the list.

    At a speech in Geneva, high commissioner Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile, said that the “Yellow Vests [had protested against what] they considered as the marginalisation of their economic rights and participation in public affairs”.

    She said: “Inequalities affect all countries. Even in rich states, people feel excluded from the benefits of development, and shut out from economic and social rights.”

    At least 100 people have claimed to have been seriously injured due to police actions since the start of the protests – including at least five who have lost a hand, and others an eye.

    The Council of Europe and the independent French human rights authority, le Défenseur des Droits chaired by Jacques Toubon, also called for a suspension in LBD use, due to their “danger” and to “better respect human rights”.

    The French government has rejected these claims, saying that the Yellow Vest protests had “made it necessary to allow law enforcement to have recourse to these weapons”. It responded with a terse statement from Prime Minister Edouard Philippe: “Someone needs to explain to the [UN] high commissioner the extent of the extreme violence [against] law enforcement and public property.”

    He added: “France is a law-abiding state. We have not been waiting for the high commission to shine a light on such actions as soon as there are complaints.” But French police investigation service l’Inspection Générale de la Police (IGPN) has opened at least 111 inquiries into “9 228 uses of LBDs”, according to a report from January 30, cited by Philippe.

    Secretary of State to the PM, Benjamin Griveaux said: “I must say, I am surprised to find ourselves on a list between Venezuela and Haiti, where there have been deaths [due to force].”

    Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, tweeted a response to the UNHCR, asking: “France has been listed…between Haiti (41 deaths) and Venezuela (where [president] N. Maduro is refusing humanitarian aid for his own people).

    “Is this reasonable? French people [are allowed] to express themselves every day in our Grand Débat. We are already investigating the issue of police violence.”

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    The amazing surge of the Brexit Party

    LondonIn the dispute over the new Brexit Plan of Prime Minister Theresa May, the Conservative Party has plunged in one of the last polls before the European elections. Only seven percent of voters would vote for the Tories, according to a survey.

    French candidates for European elections focus only on immigration

    Marine Le Pen invited the Yellow Vests to vote for the list led by the National Rally candidate Jordan Bardella to stop rising Islamism, while Nicolas Dupont-Aignan called for birth control in Africa.

    Some 40 000 Yellow Vests march for Act XXVII

    On Saturday, May 18, Yellow Vest protesters were once again mobilized in Reims, Lyon, and Paris.

    Twelve European patriotic parties represented in Milan

    MilanRepresentatives of twelve patriotic parties of the Old Continent will gather on Saturday, May 18 in Italy, just days ahead of the European elections.

    Teacher suspended after suggesting that Salvini kills migrants

    PalermoAn Italian teacher was suspended after her students were encouraged to denounce Interior Minister and League party leader Matteo Salvini as a murderous fascist dictator. She had instigated her young students "to say that Salvini is like Hitler because he exterminates the migrants" a League member explained.

    ‘French prisons are overcrowded jihadist incubators’

    To combat prison overcrowding, the French government plans to create some 7 000 additional places by 2022. The rise in inmates has coincided with a surge in immigration.

    EU: A playground for interference

    Brussels' functionary elites are nervous about “Russian meddling” in the upcoming EU elections. In the meantime they keep all gates open for US and Israeli interference in European politics.

    German Youtuber assaulted after AfD’s First Free Media Conference

    BerlinThe extremely successful First Free Media Conference in the German Bundestag was hosted and attended by many courageous politicians of the AfD party and hundreds of free media workers including Oliver Flesch.

    Le Pen says Macron ‘will have to leave’ if his list is beaten by RN

    ParisThe President of the French Republic has promised to put "all his energy" into preventing the victory of the National Rally.

    Danish politician arrested for allegedly sharing jihadist killing video

    A candidate for the New Conservative party of Denmark was arrested and charged by police. On Wednesday, Jeppe Juhl was taken away by police officers. In response the candidate remarked that "Islam critics must be beaten down apparently".

    Go to archive