Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Merkel in Kiev amid Russian aid convoy ‘escalation’

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Philippines to repatriate UN troops in Liberia over Ebola fears

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Europe

UN slams 'racist attacks' on French black politician

© afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-17

The UN human rights body on Friday condemned the "racist attacks" on French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, including a far-right magazine cover likening her to a monkey, warning that "xenophobia and intolerance" are on the rise in Europe.

The UN human rights body condemned on Friday a recent series of "racist attacks" on Justice Minister Christiane Taubira – including a far-right magazine cover that made references to monkeys – warning that "xenophobia and intolerance" are on the rise in Europe.

"We condemn the racist attacks that have been taking place against French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira over the past few weeks," said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN high commissioner for human rights.

"This utterly unacceptable abuse of a prominent politician, on the basis of her colour, is a stark manifestation of the rising racism, xenophobia and intolerance aimed at members of ethnic and religious minorities – as well as migrants – in many European countries," he told reporters.

The Human Rights Office added that it "reiterates previous UN recommendations for France to step up its efforts to counter racism and xenophobia".

The weekly edition of French far-right magazine “Minute” published a cover picturing Taubira alongside the headline: "Crafty as a monkey – Taubira gets her banana back."

Clear racism

Colville rejected the magazine’s claim that it was simply using two common French expressions, the latter a reference to someone who is so happy that they have a smile as big as a banana.

"The underlying racist intent of this play on words could not be more clear," the UN’s Colville said.

Critics have said the French political mainstream was late in coming to Taubira's defence, until a fresh outcry over the “Minute” cover this week.

Taubira herself has spoken out twice about the abuse she has been subjected to, once to voice dismay over the lack of support she received from government colleagues, and then on Wednesday to denounce the “Minute” cover.

She described the weekly's cover story as being tantamount to "denying I belonged to the human race".

Soul-searching

Taubira is hated by some on the political right for being the minister who led a push for the legalisation of gay marriage in France earlier this year.

Demonstrators, including children, at gay marriage protests have brandished bananas at Taubira and shouted epithets such as, "Monkey, eat your banana."

A local election candidate from the far-right National Front said in a TV documentary last month that she would rather see Taubira "swinging from the branches, rather than in government".

The UN’s Colville said it was crucial for politicians to speak out, and that he welcomed a "prompt and unequivocal condemnation" by the government and other politicians.

The treatment of Taubira has sparked soul-searching among liberal commentators over whether racism is on the rise or is simply still widely considered acceptable in parts of French society.

Opposition UMP takes action

France's main opposition party, the UMP, on Friday began expulsion proceedings against a local councillor over a racist Facebook post about Taubira.

UMP councillor Claudine Declerck posted a picture of Taubira on the social networking site along with the slogan "Y'a pas bon, Taubira."

Her comment literally means, "It's no good, Taubira," but it is also a reference to a notorious (and now discontinued) advertising campaign for Banania, a cocoa drink product that featured a caricature of a smiling African and the slogan, "Y'a bon, Banania" – a phrase that means “Banania's good” in pidgin French.

UMP President Jean-François Copé took to Twitter as soon as the story broke to announce that Declerck would be kicked out of the centre-right party.

"Wherever it comes from, the hatred of others is not acceptable," Copé wrote.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)


 

Date created : 2013-11-16

  • FRANCE

    Black minister compared to a monkey - again

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Black public figures sound alarm on ‘racist France’

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Far-right leader says France is ‘least racist country’

    Read more

COMMENT(S)