France must address deep issues of racism and discrimination within its police, the spokeswoman of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday, commenting the death of a young minor shot by the police in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris. “We are concerned by the killing of a 17-year-old of North African descent by police in France on Tuesday. We note that an investigation has been launched into alleged voluntary homicide. This is a moment for the country to seriously address the deep issues of racism and discrimination in law enforcement,” the spokeswoman told a media briefing in Geneva. In the context of the demonstrations that broke out in several parts of France in the wake of the tragedy, the spokeswoman emphasized “the importance of peaceful assembly”. She also called on the French authorities to “ensure use of force by police to address violent elements in demonstrations always respects the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality, non-discrimination, precaution and accountability.” “Any allegations of disproportionate use of force must be swiftly investigated,” the official concluded.
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