Don't miss




Sarkozy and Gaddafi: The Case Against France's Former President

Read more


France unveils tough new bill to tackle sexual harassment

Read more


Hats off: Photographer Claude Azoulay's stylish, candid snaps on show

Read more


Will the Indian city of Bangalore run out of water?

Read more


Emma Gonzalez, a US teen activist against gun violence

Read more


104 Dapchi schoolgirls freed by Boko Haram

Read more


Spoof children's book about Mike Pence's gay bunny tops Amazon bestsellers

Read more


Mind the pay gap: UK companies publish figures on gender pay disparity

Read more


Amnesty: Nigerian army ignored warnings before abduction of Dapchi schoolgirls

Read more


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.




2018-03-21 Europe

Khodorkovsky blames Kremlin for Russian ex-spy poisoning

Mikhail Khodorkovsky was once Russia’s richest man. But the former Yukos CEO spent ten years in jail for alleged tax evasion and theft, charges he claims were a political...

Read more

2018-03-21 Yemen

UN: 'The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is the world's worst'

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Mark Lowcock, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, expressed his concern about the situation in Yemen, a country ravaged by...

Read more

2018-03-17 Africa

Requiem for the Arab Spring: Why has Tunisia succeeded where others failed?

Tunisia is where the "Arab Spring" began. Today, seven years on, despite some setbacks, it is the only country in the Arab world where those uprisings have given way to a...

Read more

2018-03-14 Middle East

Save the Children CEO: Syria conflict is 'a war on children'

The NGO Save the Children is publishing a chilling new report to mark the seventh anniversary of the war in Syria. It points to a 45 percent increase in the civilian death toll...

Read more

2018-03-10 Middle East

Egypt's revolution, seven years on: An insider's perspective

Omar Robert Hamilton is a British-Egyptian filmmaker, who has just published a book entitled "The City Always Wins". It's a vibrant account of the Egyptian revolution, and of...

Read more