In the press

Human Rights Watch slams 'racist and abusive' French police in new report


IN THE PAPERS - Thursday, June 18: We look at Emmanuel Macron's visit to London to commemorate 80 years since Charles de Gaulle's now-legendary radio appeal to occupied France to fight against the Nazis. What's left of the legacy of that speech today as France confronts new crises? Also, Human Rights Watch publishes a damning report accusing French police of arbitrary and "racist" checks on minors of African or Arab origin. Finally, a Spanish opera house will reopen next week for the first time since the lockdown to an audience of... 2,292 plants! 


French President Emmanuel Macron is in London to commemorate 80 years since Charles de Gaulle's now legendary radio appeal to occupied France to rise up and fight against Hitler. Macron's visit is dominating the French front pages. The Catholic paper La Croix says that against all odds, General de Gaulle gave hope, he rebelled against what seemed to be France's "inescapable fate" and he paved the way for changing the country's destiny.

Like France in 1940, the right-wing paper Le Figaro says, France is also going through multiple crises today – a health crisis, an economic crisis and a crisis of the government's authority. Le Figaro wonders what's left of the vision of France from de Gaulle's speech?

Let's stay with the French papers for this next story. A report out from Human Rights Watch has condemned the French police's "racist and abusive" checks on minors. The report reveals arbitrary police checks against young people of African or Arab origin, even in the absence of signs of a crime. A 14-year-old boy, for instance, says he's been searched 30 times in the past year, while another talks about being subjected to a search at the age of 10 and enduring racist comments. You can read about that report in Le Monde.

Finally, let's end with a story out of Spain. A Barcelona opera house will hold its first post-lockdown concert next week in front of a rather sentient audience, but one which won't need masks or gloves. A string quartet will serenade 2,292 plants with Puccini's aptly named "Crisantemi"! The concert will be live-streamed to humans and the plants will be donated to health workers at the end. You can read all about it in the Guardian. 

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