A new report published by New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that French police abuse their power when dealing with black and Arab men and boys. It said that police “conduct unwarranted and abusive identity checks” against the minorities.
The report, “The Root of Humiliation: Abusive Identity Checks in France,” reveals that minority youth, including children, are “subjected to frequent stops involving lengthy questioning, invasive body pat-downs, and the search of personal belongings.”
HRW says that continuous stops of youth are arbitrary and have no semblance of purpose, except to harass the young minorities.
The rights group, which conducted interviews with youth in France, said police often use insulting language and racial slurs as well as unnecessary force against the youth.
Under French law, police have wide discretion to carry out identity checks without any suspicion of criminal wrongdoing. The police do not record the stops, and those stopped do not receive any written documentation explaining the incident. Most of those HRW interviewed had never been told the grounds for the stops they had experienced.