Urgent Action: FACING TRIAL FOR PROTESTING PEACEFULLY (France: UA 52.21)

May 10, 2021

The trial of long-standing trade unionist Frédéric Vuillaume starts on May 20, 2021. His peaceful participation in protests as part of the Yellow Vests movement since its outset has been marked by multiple pre-charge detentions, arrests and prosecutions, similarly to thousands of other peaceful protesters in France. He has been charged with ‘attroupement’ (participation in an assembly that is likely to disrupt public order) for exercising his right to peaceful assembly and risks up to one year in prison and a fine. These absurd charges must be dropped.

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  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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CONTACT INFORMATION 

Eric Mathais, Prosecutor of Dijon
Tribunal Judiciaire de Dijon
13 boulevard Clemenceau
BP 13313, Dijon, France
Email: [email protected] / [email protected]
Ambassador Philippe Etienne
Embassy of France
4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington DC 20007
Phone: 202 944 6000
Contact form: https://franceintheus.org/spip.php?article1131#01
Twitter: @franceintheUS @Ph_Etienne
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Prosecutor of Dijon,

I am writing to express my concern regarding the charges brought against Frédéric Vuillaume in relation to his peaceful participation in the protest against the Global Security Bill in December 2020 in Dijon, and to urge you to drop the prosecution against him.

On May 20, 2021 Frédéric Vuillaume will stand trial for ‘participation in a public assembly that is likely to disrupt public order’ (attroupement’) and if convicted, he risks up to one year in prison and 15,000 Euros/fine, solely for his peaceful activism.

Frédéric Vuillaume is a long-standing trade unionist and in the last years he has been targeted with fines, detention and absurd criminal charges in relation to his peaceful participation in protests. He is among the thousands of other peaceful protesters who have been swept up in France’s draconian crackdown on demonstrations and on people simply exercising their right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, as Amnesty International has repeatedly denounced including In the latest report published in September 2020 (available here:

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur21/1791/2020/en/).

Peacefully participating in a protest should not be a criminal offence and is protected by all major human rights Conventions. Frédéric Vuillaume should not be standing trial and he should be allowed to exercise his right to freedom of expression, peacefully participate in protests and carry out his legitimate activism freely.

Ahead of the start of his trial on May 20, I urge you to ensure that Frédéric Vuillaume is not punished for exercising his human rights and the charges against him are dropped. He must be allowed to carry out with his peaceful activism free from further harassment and reprisals by authorities.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES