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Europe human rights watchdog slams French rights record

[JURIST] A Council of Europe [official website] report to be officially released on Wednesday contains a scathing 200-page criticism of France's record on human rights. The report, based on inspections of prisons and police precincts in September 2005, cites a disparity in law and practice in France, referencing police brutality, overcrowded prisons, weak investigation into racially-motivated crimes, and incarceration of minors with adult offenders. COE Human Rights Commissioner Alberto Gil-Robles [official website] also refers in the report to the increasing number of French cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights [official website] in recent years.

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin [official website, BBC profile] said in January that racial and religious attacks had declined [JURIST report] from previous years in 2005, despite last fall's riots in immigrant neighborhoods [JURIST report]. The Council's report contains 50 recommendations to the French authorities on ways to improve police practices and improve areas such as treatment of Roma minorities and asylum seekers. AFP has more. Le Monde has local coverage.

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