Amnesty International said in a report that the force used by the gendarmerie in intervention during an undeclared free-party at the end of June was “neither necessary nor proportionate” and contrary to “basic principles of the United Nations”.
The prolonged use of tear gas and grenades to disperse at night hundreds of participants in the illegal rave party in Redon (Ille-et-Vilaine) in June, one of whom had his hand torn off, is “emblematic of the excesses of the maintenance. order in France, ”according to an Amnesty International report published on September 14. The force was “neither necessary nor proportionate” and the conditions of intervention contrary to the “basic principles of the United Nations”, according to this document produced from interviews, articles and videos.
Violent clashes broke out on the night of June 18 to 19 between the police and participants in an undeclared rave party, organized in tribute to Steve Maia Caniço, who drowned in Nantes in 2019 following a police operation during the Music Festival. Several dozen wounded were recorded among the participants, according to Amnesty, and 11 among the gendarmes.
According to the prefect of Ille-et-Vilaine, the gendarmes had “wiped jets of Molotov cocktails, pétanque balls, etc. all night long.” “No violence was observed on the part of participants before the violent intervention of the police,” Amnesty said. The NGO criticizes the use of force “as a first resort”, the absence of mediation and “not very audible” summons.
“In Redon, the police threw tear gas and stun grenades for more than seven hours at a crowd at night, including grenades likely to mutilate people. The use of these weapons in such dangerous conditions has led to dozens of injuries: wounds, fractures, burns, but also panic attacks and respiratory distress, ”notes Amnesty.
Amnesty calls for ban of explosive grenades in law enforcement
“The duration of the intervention reveals how ineffective the approach was,” considers the NGO, which also denounces a total absence of a rescue plan for the injured. “Unnecessary use of force can amount to corporal punishment, which is illegal under international human rights law,” Amnesty adds. According to her, “the case of Redon is placed in a context of repetition of cases of excessive use of force in operations to maintain order”, further specifies Amnesty.
The NGO warns the government “on the urgency to ban explosive grenades in law enforcement” and “to review intervention strategies so that they are based on dialogue and de-escalation approaches”. It also calls for the creation of “an independent body responsible for investigating complaints lodged against law enforcement officials”.
An element of language also used by the Elysee, which recently indicated that the President of the Republic should soon announce the terms of an “independent control” of “the action of the police”.
Following the events of Redon, justice had opened two investigations for “involuntary injuries” and for “unlawful organization of a festive gathering of a musical nature”.