Lawyer Arié Alimi, emerging figure of the militant left

On that rainy day in January, when he arrived in his Parisian office on the 17the district, Arié Alimi is happy. Happy, because his essay, The Emergency Coup, will be released soon (Seuil, 180 p., 15 euros, in bookstores on January 21). Happy, because the year 2020 ended with a strong mobilization against the “global security” law, which is one of the linchpins of coordination against the text. Happy, finally, because he has just had a new client, and not the least: Jean-Luc Mélenchon, in the campaign accounts files.

Representing one of the leaders of the left, a presidential candidate, on such a sensitive point, is not anecdotal. This shows that the 44-year-old criminal lawyer, also a member of the national office of the League for Human Rights (LDH), is today a meeting point of the left of the left. He appeared in the media in 2014, when he represented the family of Rémi Fraisse, a young environmental activist who died at the Sivens dam after the firing of an offensive grenade by the gendarmes. Since then, we see him more and more in the mobilizations against police violence or Islamophobia, as during the demonstration of November 10, 2019. He is also one of Oxfam’s lawyers, in “The Affair of the Century », Where NGOs are suing the state for its inaction on global warming.

An emerging figure in the social movement, therefore, Arié Alimi is also a divisive personality. His strong positions, Me Alimi assumes them. “Everyone can have a vision of the role of lawyer, including politics. The law is a tool, the most powerful weapon there is ”, he sums up. In his forthcoming book, he is therefore fighting for “Strengthen the rule of law”. He wanted to write a “Manifest” against, he said, the multiple attacks on fundamental freedoms since the establishment of the state of emergency in 2005, at the time of the riots in the suburbs, until the state of health emergency of 2020. A text which marks, according to him, a turning point, where “The entire French population has been placed under house arrest, placed under general surveillance”, each citizen being considered as a “Potential danger”.

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The double hat “lawyer and activist” is claimed by Arié Alimi. Her model is Gisèle Halimi: “She did law and procedure within the judiciary and politics outside”, he explains. Jacques Vergès too, surely for a shared taste for provocation, even if “The defense of rupture which instrumentalizes the accused” not to M’s likinge Alimi.

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