Annual Report: France 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: France 2011

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Head of state: Nicolas Sarkozy
Head of government: François Fillon
Death penalty: abolitionist for all crimes
Population: 62.6 million
Life expectancy: 81.6 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f): 5/4 per 1,000

Allegations of police ill-treatment continued, and investigations into such allegations were slow to progress. A draft law on migration and asylum was incompatible with the right to seek asylum. The Constitutional Council found that the rules on pre-charge detention for ordinary criminal offences were unconstitutional. Roma and Travellers were stigmatized and targeted for forced evictions and expulsions.

Torture and other ill-treatment

In its concluding observations of 14 May 2010, the UN Committee against Torture expressed concern at the persistent allegations of ill-treatment by French law enforcement officials, and urged the authorities to carry out prompt, transparent and independent investigations into such allegations, and ensure adequate punishment for perpetrators.

  • On 4 November, the European Court of Human Rights found that France had violated the European Convention on Human Rights' prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment in the case Darraj v. France. In July 2001, Yassine Darraj, a 16-year-old French national, was taken for an identity check to a police station, where police officers handcuffed him and used force which required an emergency operation and resulted in his unfitness for work for 21 days. The Court ruled that the 800 euro fine for "involuntary injuries", to which two of the police officers were sentenced on appeal, was inadequate.

Deaths in custody

Investigations into deaths in custody appeared to lack independence and impartiality and were slow to progress.