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France: MPs comment on adoption of France’s ‘anti-hooligan’ bill03:00

France: MPs comment on adoption of France’s ‘anti-hooligan’ bill

France, Paris
February 6, 2019 at 11:54 GMT +00:00 · Published

French MPs Alexis Corbiere and Eric Ciotti commented on yesterday’s adoption of the ‘anti-hooligan’ bill during an interview in Paris on Wednesday.

“This law is bad news for protests,” MP and spokesperson of La France Insoumise Corbiere said. “Such an important decision on prohibiting freedom to demonstrate, which can sometimes be completely justified, should be taken by independent judges, and not bodies, which are dependent on political powers,” he added.

Bouchart and Deputy President of the Department Alpes Maritimes Eric Ciotti said “we voted for the legislation proposed by Republican senators, who put forward the initiative, better to protect our people, better to protect, first and foremost, public order, and in this way, guarantee freedom of demonstration.”

“This legislation is not an infringement on freedom. Security is not the enemy of freedom. Combatting violence is the defence of our freedoms and the defence of the right to protest. We cannot let violence in each protest get in the way of the freedom of speech of the demonstrators,” he added.

The bill, which will make it illegal for protesters to conceal their faces, was adopted by the National Assembly with a majority of 387 votes, while 92 voted against it and 50 deputies abstained. The bill will go to the Senate on March 12 for the second part of the vote.

According to one of the authors of the bill Jean-Francois Eliaou, the law will give "more judicial means to the police force to maintain public order and in order to fight against 'hooligans.'"

The bill, which follows months of Yellow Vest protests and civil unrest, makes full-face coverage punishable, as well as making it easier for law enforcement to use facial recognition technology to catch and prosecute rioters. Opponents of the bill have argued that its adoption will infringe civil liberties.

Protesters could face up to six months in prison and a fine of up to €7,500 (US $8,560).

France: MPs comment on adoption of France’s ‘anti-hooligan’ bill03:00
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French MPs Alexis Corbiere and Eric Ciotti commented on yesterday’s adoption of the ‘anti-hooligan’ bill during an interview in Paris on Wednesday.

“This law is bad news for protests,” MP and spokesperson of La France Insoumise Corbiere said. “Such an important decision on prohibiting freedom to demonstrate, which can sometimes be completely justified, should be taken by independent judges, and not bodies, which are dependent on political powers,” he added.

Bouchart and Deputy President of the Department Alpes Maritimes Eric Ciotti said “we voted for the legislation proposed by Republican senators, who put forward the initiative, better to protect our people, better to protect, first and foremost, public order, and in this way, guarantee freedom of demonstration.”

“This legislation is not an infringement on freedom. Security is not the enemy of freedom. Combatting violence is the defence of our freedoms and the defence of the right to protest. We cannot let violence in each protest get in the way of the freedom of speech of the demonstrators,” he added.

The bill, which will make it illegal for protesters to conceal their faces, was adopted by the National Assembly with a majority of 387 votes, while 92 voted against it and 50 deputies abstained. The bill will go to the Senate on March 12 for the second part of the vote.

According to one of the authors of the bill Jean-Francois Eliaou, the law will give "more judicial means to the police force to maintain public order and in order to fight against 'hooligans.'"

The bill, which follows months of Yellow Vest protests and civil unrest, makes full-face coverage punishable, as well as making it easier for law enforcement to use facial recognition technology to catch and prosecute rioters. Opponents of the bill have argued that its adoption will infringe civil liberties.

Protesters could face up to six months in prison and a fine of up to €7,500 (US $8,560).