GENEVA – Geneva Council for Human Rights and Justice (GCHRJ) blamed the French government for the escalating popular protests in the country, organized by the Yellow Jackets movement against the rising taxes and declining purchasing power.
GCHRJ criticized in press release the French security forces for forcing for using tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators.
Thousands of people have been demonstrating across France over an increase to the cost of diesel. The protests began over two weeks ago when thousands of people held demonstrations about it.
Nearly 300,000 people took part in the first country-wide demonstration on 17 November, but protests were still ongoing three weeks later.
According to local media, the French government has now said it will suspend the rise in price which has led to the protests.
The protests left the death toll of two people and injured 780 people, while the number of detainees reached 794.
GCHRJ criticized the French government for declaring a state of emergency instead of responding to the demands of the protests.
“The French government’s attempts to reduce the number of demonstrators and adopt a speech that ignores the demands of the protests and gives only promises will not be useful in keeping the country from further chaos and instability,” said Salma Ajam, a middle east official at GCHRJ.
Ajam criticized the French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macaron’s insistence on a tax increase in January and the promises to slow the rate of increase in fuel taxes if the global oil prices rise.
She said McCron and his government must respond quickly to the demands of popular protests, which continue after more than two weeks of its launch driven by the support of more than two thirds of the French and the success of a petition “to reduce the prices of fuel,” signed by more than one million people.
Geneva Council for Human Rights and Justice also affirmed the responsibility of the French government to avoid politicizing popular demonstrations and trying to change its objectives under security pretexts and to immediately respond to the demands of the protesters and support their peaceful action.
It stressed that this new popular rule falls within the context of a tradition of spontaneous rebellion against government policies, which requires the French government to work hard to respond to the demands of the protests and not to try to contain them.
The Human Rights Council considered that the ball is still in the Macaron court to respond to the demands of popular protests and to avoid the growing anger.