January 29, 2022

“For each act of violence against a deputy, the National Assembly will be a civil party”

The President (La République en Marche) of the National Assembly, Richard Ferrand, who received, Tuesday, January 11 in the evening, the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, and that of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti, calls for “Collective mobilization” against the resurgence of threats against deputies.

Are you seeing an increase in threats and violence against MPs?

If vehement expression, even violence, towards parliamentarians is a fairly old phenomenon, there has been an increase in threats and violent acts for almost three years. With a strengthening of the phenomenon since the beginning of the health crisis. It is indisputable. In 2020, 60 parliamentarians and 505 mayors or deputies were victims of physical violence. Over the first eleven months of 2021, this concerned 162 parliamentarians and 605 mayors or deputies. During this period, violence against elected officials increased by 47% and outrages by 30%.

Read also Violence against elected officials: 300 complaints filed since July, according to Gérald Darmanin

Has the implementation of the health pass increased these actions tenfold?

It’s undeniable. Since its establishment in July 2021, 214 acts of attack on deputies have been recorded, including 148 in the direction of deputies of La République en Marche (LRM). And, over the past three months, the National Assembly has recorded more than 800 reports of threats. They concern 430 deputies. If those of the majority are mainly targeted, we see that elected officials from all benches are victims, including the opposition. At this rate, at the end of the mandate, there will not be one deputy, out of the 577, who has not received threats.

Also read: Death threats and attacks are increasing against the deputies of the majority

Have these actions become more radical?

There is a progression in the gradation, with explicit references to firearms or bladed weapons, with technical terms, almost terrorist. Members of Parliament receive messages, in which it is written: “I’m going to behead you”, “I’m going to stab you”… Words that want to inspire crime. There is a mixture of expressions of intimidation, pressure and revenge. We can distinguish two types of threats: either bilateral expressions, with someone who will write directly to his deputy; or collective harassment operations on a specific subject, with massive sending of emails or letters, in an increasingly threatening tone, which can go as far as death threats.

What are the proposals you made during the update on violence against deputies, which you held on Tuesday evening with the interior ministers, Gerald Darmanin, and justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti?

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