The Council of Europe has expressed concern over the use of force at protests in France

Photo: Teresa Suarez / EFE

The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatovi., today expressed concern over the "excessive use of force" against protesters in France protesting pension reforms and called on the authorities to respect the right to protest.

"Violent incidents took place, some of which were directed at members of the security forces," the commissioner said in a statement.

However, sporadic acts of violence and misdemeanors by some protesters during the protests cannot justify the excessive use of force by state officials, the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe said in a statement. held the protests.

The commissioner added that the deprivation of people's right to freedom of assembly cannot be justified either and expressed concern about the arrest and detention of certain protesters and people near the demonstration for acts that "do not justify resorting to measures that are so harmful in terms of the right to freedom and security".

"Violence, wherever it comes from, can never be used as a means of solving a social or political crisis," she said, lamenting that people were injured among both protesters and security forces.

According to her, the violence must stop because it is a necessary condition for the effective exercise of freedom of expression and assembly, as well as for trust between the population and the police.

In France, yesterday, during the protests over the pension reform, 441 members of the police and gendarmerie were injured, and 457 people were detained.

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