The French finally take the lead in something...............hate to be so snide but the French are so smug, self righteous - such hypocrites. Pathetic
- There is a yawning gap between what France preaches and what it practices when it comes to human rights, according to a major Council of Europe report to be released this week.
The 200-page indictment — which details shortcomings ranging from chronically overpopulated prisons to police brutality to summary expulsions of asylum seekers — is especially embarrassing to a nation that takes pride in its image and history as a beacon of human rights.
"There is a widening gap in several areas between the text of the law and what is actually practiced," Human Rights Commissioner Alvaro Gil-Robles said in the report, to be released Wednesday.
France "has a relatively complete legal arsenal offering a high level of human rights protection," Gil-Robles said, but "does not always give itself sufficient means to put it into application."
The report refers to "persistent and recurring difficulties" related to human rights as illustrated by the number of cases brought in recent years before the European Court of Human Rights.
Based on the inspection in September 2005 of seven prisons and five police precincts, the report also lambastes France's weak reaction to anti-Semitic and racist crimes, and the discriminatory treatment of the country's Roma citizens, also known as gypsies.
How has France changed since the two weeks of riots last November that should have shaken the country to the core?
The answer is not much. For the vast majority of the French, the riots were little more than a televisual event, to sit at home and watch on the small screen while relaxing after work. It was possible, after all, to travel the length and breadth of the country at the very height of the riots and not know that anything untoward was happening anywhere -- provided, of course, that one did not look at the television, listen to the radio, or read a newspaper or magazine.