Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Spain 'goes nuclear' on Catalonia

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton says Trump 'channels' racism

Read more

THE DEBATE

Moment of truth: Spain sets in motion direct rule over Catalonia

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Must it come down? Market analysts bracing for correction

Read more

FOCUS

Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto to vote on autonomy

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

France considers tough new laws to crack down on sexual harassment

Read more

ENCORE!

Inside the new Yves Saint Laurent museum in Morocco

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

California: When your home is reduced to ashes

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

#balancetonporc: Sexual harassment and gender inequality in France

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

An interview with a French or international personality from the world of economics, politics, culture or diplomacy. Every Wednesday at 4.45 pm Paris time and Saturday at 7.45 am.

Latest update : 2017-02-22

Amnesty chief urges France to 'stay true to its values'

This year, London-based Amnesty International took the unusual step of unveiling its much-awaited annual report in France. Amnesty Secretary-General Salil Shetty explains why France is under the human rights spotlight and what it means for the international community.

The 2016/17 Amnesty report on the state of the world’s human rights is a 409-page tome covering 159 countries. But while the report covers diverse violations across the world, the central theme this year is the rise of populist leaders peddling a poisonous rhetoric that involves manipulating economic and security fears to win votes.

With just weeks to go before the April 2017 first round of the presidential election, all eyes are on France in the human rights community. As Shetty explains, it’s not just far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen who is using a dangerously divisive rhetoric. The discourse is also seeping into the campaigns of some of the mainstream political parties.

"We believe that it’s a time for the French government and the French people to stay true to the values [of the French Republic]," said Shetty. "This country was founded on the values of human rights. But look at what’s happening already with the election campaigns. It’s not just the National Front, which is of course putting up posters of a homeless woman, saying you'd be better off being a migrant, and all that hateful rhetoric against Muslims and migrants. But our worry is even the other politicians. So we’re watching the election rhetoric and platforms closely as well."

Across the Atlantic, US President Donald Trump's attempts to crackdown on immigration also came in for some scathing criticism.

"If you take for example the so-called travel ban -- which is really a veiled Muslim ban -- first of all, it’s unlawful because it’s against the US Constitution itself, which is why it’s been suspended. Secondly, it’s inhumane because these are Somalis, Syrians who are trying to find their way to the US. And thirdly, it’s just stupid because what he is ending up doing is making the entire world unsafe, not just the US unsafe and also making it less prosperous. The argument is we’re gonna make this country more safe and prosperous - it’s quite the reverse."

Programme prepared by Narimène Laouadi and Hanane Saïdani.

By Leela JACINTO

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-10-18 Americas

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton says Trump 'channels' racism

In an interview with FRANCE 24, veteran US civil rights leader Al Sharpton criticised President Donald Trump for his divisive rhetoric as well as his missteps on race relations...

Read more

2017-10-17 Americas

'Trump is the most powerful unifying force the Democrats could imagine'

Is Donald Trump falling apart? US media reports in recent weeks have portrayed a president who's losing the plot. Nine months into his presidency, polls show Trump is deeply...

Read more

2017-10-13 Business

IMF chief: 'It’s the first time in a decade that we have such a strong recovery'

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), spoke to FRANCE 24 during the annual meetings of her institution and the World Bank in Washington....

Read more

2017-10-11 nuclear Iran

Iran nuclear deal: What happens if Trump decertifies agreement?

Trita Parsi is a Middle East foreign policy expert. He is also the founder and president of the National Iranian American Council, which advised both the Obama administration and...

Read more

2017-10-05 Middle East

Turkish FM: 'Barzani is risking the future of the Kurds in Iraq'

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the Kurdish authorities' decision to hold a referendum on independence was a "grave mistake" that...

Read more