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France justice minister claims critical Europe rights report 'unfair'

[JURIST] [JURIST Europe] French Justice Minister Pascal Clement [official profile] has responded to a new Council of Europe (COE) [official website] report released on Wednesday [COE press release] criticizing France's human rights record by calling it "unfair". The 100 page report [official DOC text] identified a range of shortcomings in the French justice system relating to the treatment of newly arrived foreigners, domestic violence, police brutality, detention conditions, and asylum and expulsion procedures. Clement expressed his dissatisfaction [press release, in French] with several points made in the report, especially with regards to prison conditions, citing a 2002 initiative to combat overpopulation in French prisons and create an additional 13,000 prison spaces [dossier, in French].

The COE report was the result of a two-week official visit to France in September 2005 by Commissioner for Human Rights Alvaro Gil-Robles [official profile], who personally visited various sites in France, including police stations, a psychiatric hospital, reception centers for foreigners, and centers for victims of domestic violence. Expatica has more.

Angela Onikepe is an Associate Editor for JURIST Europe, reporting European legal news from a European perspective. She is based in the UK.

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