Responding to the passing of an asylum and immigration bill that will tighten asylum rules, Cécile Coudriou, President of Amnesty International France, declares:
“This bill, and the discussions around its text, fails to address the difficulties faced by migrants and asylum seekers in France and the need to fully respect their rights. Those drafting this bill missed numerous opportunities including putting an end to the detention of children and providing dignified protection for those fleeing war or persecution.
“The majority of parliamentarians were aware that the ‘offence of solidarity’ could be wrongfully used to prosecute people providing voluntary assistance to asylum seekers. Yet the final draft of the bill remains unaligned with international law.
“The new list of immunities and the conditions for not being prosecuted leaves the sword of Damocles dangling over the heads of activists, citizens and organizations that act to protect human rights.
“As this bill goes forward for debate in France’s upper house, we will keep up the pressure to ensure that the rights and the dignity of men women and children who come to France seeking asylum are protected.”