The threats and attacks on elected officials are not new, but they have taken on a new dimension with the implementation of the health pass in July. Since its entry into force, “more than 300 complaints for death threats” have been lodged by national elected officials or “who appear in the media”, announced Gérald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior, on Tuesday on RTL.
Assaults up 47%
Last year, between January and November, 1,186 elected officials were threatened or attacked, revealed the Interior Ministry. 162 parliamentarians and 605 mayors or deputies were notably victims of physical attacks, an increase of 47% compared to 2020, and 419 “outraged” (+ 30%).
In addition, during the last four months of 2021, of the 163 reports of elected officials, 22% concerned acts of violence, 57% insults and threats and 10% degradations, according to management indicators. criminal cases and pardons (DACG).
From 45,000 € to 150,000 € fine, from three to ten years in prison
Faced with these situations, the legislator amended, on November 27, article 433 concerning “threats and acts of intimidation committed against persons exercising a public function”. Today, “the threat of committing a crime or an offense against persons or property uttered against a person invested with a public elective mandate” is punishable by three years’ imprisonment and € 45,000. fine.
If it is a “death threat or threat of harm to property dangerous to people”, the prison sentence rises to five years and the fine to € 75,000.
Finally, it is a penalty of ten years in prison and a fine of € 150,000 incurred by a person using “threats, violence” or “any other act of intimidation” to obtain “from an authority or of a public administration of distinctions, jobs, contracts or any other favorable decision ”.
At the end of December, Gérald Darmanin sent a letter to the prefects asking them to strengthen the protection of elected officials “in the context of the examination of the draft law of the vaccination pass”. The Minister of the Interior indicates, according to LCI, “the systematization of police and gendarmerie patrols near the homes and offices of elected officials”, “the support of elected officials during the filing of complaints” and the establishment a “social media watch to detect hate messages and report them as quickly as possible to the Pharos platform”.
A “precise point” Tuesday evening
Still concerning threats and attacks against elected officials, “a specific point” will be established on Tuesday evening with Gérald Darmanin, Éric Dupond-Moretti, Minister of Justice, and Richard Ferrand, President of the National Assembly. This point will allow “both to identify the state of the situation, to check that the complaints have been followed by research and to see where we are in terms of justice behind, because the perpetrators must obviously be punished” , remarked Richard Ferrand on RTL.
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