Target: Manuel Valls, French Interior Minister
Goal: Oppose ban of website documenting police violence against Muslims and other French minorities.
Arabs and black Muslims make up 70% of France’s prisoners. Groups such as Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Committee have affirmed the French police’s racist and abusive policies, but non-whites in France say nothing has changed; they are still under attack.
In response to this threat, and the French government’s lack of response, Amal Bentounsi set up a website aimed at documenting cases of French police brutality. Bentounsi’s brother was shot in the back by a police officer a year ago. Her case is still in court, but Bentounsi hopes that the website will help give voice to victims who will never see justice.
France’s interior minister Manuel Valls is trying to shut down a website which he claims defames the French police and the French government. However, Bentounsi’s website is not intended to insult or slander the French police or the government. Instead, it is a vehicle for change. Bentounsi herself has stated that while she is disappointed in her government, it is the French media and its legitimization of Islamophobia that has allowed matters to progress so far. Instead of shutting down the website and silencing a number of voices that must be heard, Manuel Valls must attempt to rectify this inequality amongst France’s citizens and residents. Sign the petition below to oppose the ban of Bentounsi’s website.
Dear Mr. Valls,
It has come to public attention that you intend to shut down a website that documents French police brutality, particularly violence against French Muslims. This website, created by a woman whose brother was shot in the back by an officer, intends to give voice to victims of police injustice. The website brings attention to an extremely pressing matter, one the French government should take seriously.
Your intention to shut the website down is depressing and disturbing. Silencing voices that demand to be heard will not rectify a problem – it will only allow animosity to flourish. Instead of shutting down Amal Bentounsi’s website, please speak out against Islamophobia and police violence, and take a stand for equality.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: fdecomite via Flickr.