Following the request from the Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin asking the prefects in France to ban all pro-Palestinian demonstrations, Jean-Claude Samouiller, President of Amnesty International France said:
“The ban on all demonstrations in support of the Palestinians in France constitutes a serious and disproportionate attack on the right to demonstrate.
Faced with the atrocities committed by Hamas in southern Israel, and also the blockade and very heavy bombings in the Gaza Strip, it is important that civil society actors can mobilize peacefully and publicly, in particular those calling on those engaged in the conflict to respect the rights of civilian populations. This is why there cannot be a systematic ban on the right to peacefully demonstrate support for the rights of the Palestinian populations.
Under international law, a ban on demonstrations can only be considered as a last resort. Authorities should always seek to protect and facilitate the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the first place.Jean-Claude Samouiller, President of Amnesty International France
A ban can only be legal if it is motivated by a specific threat and if it is demonstrated that no other less restrictive measure could guarantee public order.”