Before the texts are handed over to the Assembly and the Senate, Defender of Rights Claire Hédon makes her voice heard and questions “both on the method and on the proportionality of most of the provisions and restrictions” presented. .
While the Council of State went to bed yesterday giving the green light for the sanitary pass, and Jean Castex announced to take the lead by entering the Constitutional Council, thus blurring the tracks that lead to the safeguards of freedoms, Claire Hédon comes out of the shadows – as the last bulwark? Too, his report is supported by many political figures:
The Defender of Rights strikes back! She points to the extent of the attacks on our freedom to come and go, and questions the police power granted to companies which should now control our health passes!
In short, common sense! Don’t give in!
– N. Dupont-Aignan (@dupontaignan) July 21, 2021
Here are the ten points she highlights:
1. The need for democratic debate
The Defender of Rights calls for a “fundamental public democratic debate. Today, she can only renew this request and deeply regret the choice of an accelerated procedure. given the extent of the infringements of fundamental rights and freedoms provided for by this bill as well as the novel nature of certain provisions that it includes. “Let us recall on this subject that last May, the previous bill establishing the health pass was first rejected by the Assembly, then to be voted for a second this time in favor of the majority.
See as well : Parliament wakes up and says no to the health pass
2. On the intelligibility of the text: many gray areas
As is often the case when things are rushed, “the text contains gray areas on several provisions which could give rise to numerous interpretations likely to restrict rights and freedoms beyond what the bill provides.”
3. On access restrictions to public transport and to goods and services
Here, the Defender of Rights mentions what had been put under the successive decisions of the government: the freedom to come and go. This is neither more nor less than Article 4 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789, here undermined by discrimination in public transport. Claire Hédon, deploring that she can only rely on little information, concludes that the restrictions “do not appear proportionate to the objective of safeguarding public health that they pursue.”
4. Implementation of access restrictions: control of one part of the population by another
Here, the Defender of Rights wonders about relying on traders or restaurateurs to carry out checks. It is very clear, “this control should be the responsibility of the public authorities, given the risks inherent in the exercise of such power.” There is no doubt that such relations could quickly degenerate and end in a “saloon fight”, to resume. the terms of Philippe Etchebest.
5. The risks of discrimination in employment
“The Defender of Rights reminds that no employee can be sanctioned, dismissed, or be the subject of a discriminatory measure, direct or indirect, as defined in article 1 of the law of May 27, 2008.”
6. Considerable risks of infringement of children’s rights
The bill is intended to be applied to everyone, from the age of 12. For once, the Defender of Rights agrees with many others to note “that the specific situation of minors is not taken into account”. It also stresses the fact that the right to leisure and culture is not “accessory” but “fundamental for the proper development of the child”. In addition to the coercive measures already applied for over a year, children simply could not live normally, again and again in the name of everyone’s health. Here, Claire Hédon recalls that “the assessment of the individual risks and benefits of vaccination for a young person aged 12 to 18, in full physical development, is indeed not identical to that of an adult.”
7. People experiencing poverty could be doubly victimized
“The map of the weakest vaccinations overlaps that of poverty, the digital divide, access to public services. The new measures thus run the risk of being both harder for precarious populations and of generating or increase further inequalities. “
8. Extensive isolation measures
Here, the bill provides not only to strengthen border controls but also and above all to extend isolation procedures within French territory to citizens, who should be locked up for ten days if they are ‘were found to have tested positive. The Defender of Rights underlines “that these provisions, combined with the possibility of paying for tests, have the effect of discouraging being tested and does not slow down the policy of massive screening, thus promoting the circulation of the virus”, pointing out a umpteenth paradox of the government in terms of health management.
9. Risks associated with data processing
Already mentioned on numerous occasions during this crisis, notably regarding the TousAntiCovid application, Claire Hédon once again raises the risk of “sliding towards general social surveillance practices, to which this bill could contribute.”
See as well : Claire Hédon warns about biometric surveillance
10. Compulsory vaccination for certain professions
This point echoes discrimination in employment, and would therefore like to ensure that the measures are proportionate.
To close her report, the Defender of Rights insists on the fact that the measures taken in “emergency” must not be made lasting. It is a well-known risk. The haste and the difficult legibility of the measures hamper “the exercise of rights and freedoms in a manner that is not proportionate to the objective pursued.” So, Claire Hédon, who studied justice and practiced journalism, who now chairs the association ATD Fourth World, and who has “the question of access to rights pegged to the body”, will it be the last bulwark of our freedoms?
The full press release: EXTENSION OF THE MEDICAL PASS: THE 10 ALERT POINTS OF THE DEFENSE OF RIGHTS