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Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:7PM
France's Justice Minister Christiane Taubira

France's Justice Minister Christiane Taubira

The United Nation’s human rights body has condemned a series of racist attacks against France’s black justice minister, calling the abuse a strong manifestation of the rising racism in many parts of Europe. "We condemn the racist attacks that have been taking place against French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira over the past few weeks," said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN high commissioner for human rights on Friday. Furthermore, Colville said it was completely unacceptable to racially attack a high-ranking official and that the abuse is a strong demonstration of the rising racism in many European nations. "This utterly unacceptable abuse of a prominent politician, on the basis of her color is a stark manifestation of the rising racism, xenophobia and intolerance aimed at members of ethnic and religious minorities, as well as migrants, in many European countries," said Colville. "We strongly condemn these blatantly racist comments and acts, which are utterly unacceptable whether aimed at politicians, footballers or, less visibly, on a daily basis, at ordinary citizens," he added. The criticism came just days after French far-right magazine Minute published a cover showing a picture of Justice Minister Christiane Taubira with a caption that read, “Clever as a monkey, Taubira gets her bananas back.” Colville rejected the magazine’s claim that it was only using two common French expressions on the cover, as “banana” also means “smile” in French slang. "The underlying racist intent of this play on words could not be more clear," said Colville. In addition, the justice minister has recently been racially attacked by a member of the far-right National Front (NF) party, who said she would prefer to see Taubira "swinging from the branches rather than in government.” Meanwhile, a leading human rights watchdog in France has filed a complaint against the French Interior Minister Manuel Valls for racist comments against the Roma people. In September, Valls said most of some 20,000 Roma migrants living in France should be “taken back to the border” since they could not be integrated into the French society. CAH/AB
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