Monday, October 17, 2011

No scrutiny of police in France

France has a problem with police brutality. Lax oversight and failure to investigate complaints against police has led to an environment where they are effectively a law unto themselves, free to beat abuse and even kill with impunity. France also has a solution to this problem: a website where evidence of such abuse could be posted for the world to see. Now, that website has been ordered to be blocked by a French judge. Why? Because in France, showing the public what the police are doing to people is apparently an "incitement to violence". And so power protects itself...

In case you are wondering: yes, it is perfectly legal to film and photograph police in public places in New Zealand. If any police officer tries to tell you differently, you can show them this letter from their own legal team on the subject [PDF].