France Criticized for Its Handling of Yellow Vest Crisis

Yellow vest protesters flanked by police riot officers are silhouetted against the sun as they demonstrate in the streets of Paris, France, Feb. 23. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

A top European official is criticizing French authorities for their handling of the anti-government protests that have rocked the country in recent months, urging them to “show more respect for human rights.”

Following a visit to Paris last month, Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic wrote a memorandum released Tuesday in which she also asked the French government to “refrain from introducing excessive restrictions to freedom of peaceful assembly” via a bill currently under debate in the French parliament. The controversial bill aims at cracking down on troublemakers who use protests to attack police.

According to the French Interior ministry, more than 3,000 people, including protesters and police, have been injured since the yellow vest demonstrations started in November.