Petitioners in France have declared their defiance of a Court of Cassation ruling which upheld criminal penalties for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions activism.
…This decision is more than stunning, it is an outrage. This law is supposed to protect a person or group of persons who are victims of discrimination because of their origin or membership or nonmembership of a specific ethnicity, nation, race or religion. It was never intended to protect the policies of a state against the criticism of citizens, when such criticism takes the form of a call to boycott products. Organizations have repeatedly called for boycotts in the world, of Myanmar (Burma), Russia, China or Mexico without ever invoking this clause.Here’s an open letter from the Ligue des Droits de l’Homme to Justice Minister Christiane Taubira.
Despite the insistence of the justice minister, most French jurisdictions have refused in recent years to consider that calls to boycott Israeli goods rise to the level of a violation of the law.
With the Court of Cassation’s decision, France has become the only democratic country in the world where such an interdiction has been put in place. For a country which for the last year has not stopped proclaiming its attachment to the freedom of expression, it is all the more paradoxical and it is likely that the European Court of Human Rights will review this unwelcome decision….
In related news, there will be demonstrations in Paris and throughout France this Saturday, January 30, protesting emergency measures and laws and the “governance of fear”:
Pour nous, c’est définitivement non !
Non au projet de déchéance de la nationalité, non à une démocratie sous état d’urgence, non à une réforme constitutionnelle imposée sans débat, en exploitant l’effroi légitime suscité par les attentats.
Nous n’acceptons pas la gouvernance de la peur, celle qui n’offre aucune sécurité mais qui assurément permet de violer nos principes les plus essentiels.
Notre rejet est absolu. Nous appelons tous ceux et celles qui partagent une autre idée de la France à le manifester.