The law punishes racism and discrimination in all their forms: insulting or defamatory remarks (both words which are said or written), physical assaults, incitement to hatred, different and unfavourable treatment of a person compared to others.
Racist remarks are prohibited and punished by the law of July 29, 1881.
When they are said or written publicly, there will be severe penalties. Racist remarks are considered to be done in public when they have been intentionally expressed to a large number of people, for example: during a public demonstration, in the media, in a book, on the Internet or on social networks.
Racist slurs are defined as any outrageous expression, terms of contempt or invective which does not include the imputation of any fact by reason of their origin, their belonging or their non-belonging to an ethnic group, a nation, a race or a specific religion.
When the racist slur is not done in public, the perpetrator incurs a fine of 1,500 €.
When the racist slur is done in public, the perpetrator incurs 6 months of imprisonment and a fine of € 22,500.
Racist defamation is any allegation or imputation of a fact which harms the honour or the consideration of a person or a group of persons because of their origin to an ethnicity, nation, race or religion. When the racist defamation is not done in public, its perpetrator incurs a fine of 1,500 €. When the racist defamation is public, its perpetrator faces one year's imprisonment and a fine of € 45,000.
This crime is characterized when words, written or oral, encourage hatred, violence or discrimination against a person or a group of people on the basis of their origin or whether or not they belong to an ethnicity, nation, race or religion.
When the incitement to hatred, violence or discrimination is not in public, its perpetrator incurs a fine of € 1,500.
When the incitement to hatred, violence or discrimination is in public, its perpetrator faces one year imprisonment and a fine of € 45,000.
The law also penalises acts of racism when racism was the motivation of the action. Hence, racism becomes an aggravating circumstance of the crime. For example: physical attacks due to the origin or ethnicity of the victim.
When racism is considered as an aggravating circumstance, the penalty for the crime is much serious, up to doubling the years of imprisonment.
Discrimination is a different notion from racism: not every act of racism is necessarily an act of discrimination and vice versa. Discrimination can be defined as the different and unfavourable treatment of one person compared to other people when in the same situation.
For discrimination to be characterized, three elements must be present: - unfavourable treatment when compared to another person in the same situation - Due to a criterion, defined by law (for example: origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, family name, mental health, disability, etc.) - which results in an action: a refusal to rent a building, a refusal to sell a property, a dismissal, a refusal to recruit, a refusal of promotion ...
Discrimination is a concept that can take many forms and present in different areas of the law (labour law, criminal law, civil service law, etc.) so that filing a complaint is not the only way to assert your rights. Thus, when you face discrimination, do not hesitate to contact a legal professional who will be able to advise you on the procedure adapted to your situation and to refer the matter to the competent authorities.
Anyone who is victim of a crime can file a complaint, regardless of their age or nationality.
The complaint allows the opening of an investigation in order to find the perpetrator of the crime and to sanction him. Without a complaint, the relevant authorities are not aware of the crime that you have been victim of.
Please note: filing a complaint alone is not enough for the law to condemn the perpetrator of a crime to compensate the victim. In addition to filing a complaint, the complainant must become a civil lawsuit.
It is recommended that you file a complaint as soon as you have become aware of the crime. As a reminder, the law provides for limitation periods depending on the seriousness of the crime: - 1 year for fines, - 6 years for felonies, - 30 years for crimes.
There are also special limitation periods for certain different types of felonies. To avoid any complications, we advise you to file a complaint as soon as you become aware of the crime. Each case being unique, we also recommend you to be accompanied by a legal professional.
In case of physical aggression, the police or judicial authorities will ask you to get officially examined by the UMJ (Unité Médico-Judiciaire). This procedure allows for the gathering of evidence necessary for the investigation, as well as applying first-aid and possibly determining if you can be declared as unfit for work (Incapacité Totale de Travail, also known as ITT).
a. On site, at the police station or the gendarmerie: the police or gendarmerie services are obliged by law to register the complaint. It is then sent to the Public Prosecutor who will decide on the next steps to be taken.
b. Online, at https://www.pre-plainte-en-ligne.gouv.fr for crimes: property damage (theft, damage) or discrimination.
c. By mail directly to the Public Prosecutor: send a simple or registered letter to the Judicial Court where the crime has taken place or the place of residence of the perpetrator. The letter must specify the following: - civil status and contact details of the person filing the complaint (address, phone number, email) - a detailed account of the events, the date and the place of the crime - if possible, the name and contact details of the perpetrator - if possible, the name and contact details of any witnesses to the crime - if possible, the description and estimation of the damage as well as the complainant's willingness to become part of a civil lawsuit.
Filing a complaint at the police station, the gendarmerie or in the hands of the Public Prosecutor is free.
After a complaint has been filed, there will be an investigation to characterize the offense and identify its perpetrator. At the end of the investigation, the Public Prosecutor can:
- dismiss the case - bring the perpetrator to trial - refer an examining magistrate when the case is complex. For the victim to be compensated, he must be part of a civil lawsuit. He can do so until the day of the trial. The mere filing of a complaint does not allow him to seek compensation for his damage.
The decision to create this platform was based on the observation that very little incivility, micro-aggression, theft, discrimination, physical or moral violence against the Asian population of France lead to complaints. This has not only contributed to a feeling of impunity and incitement but also to the fact that the public authorities and institutions ignore this phenomenon and therefore take no action.
To stop this vicious spiral, various reasons have been identified for this very low complaint rate: - fear of the police or the institution (school, business, etc.), - resignation, - the language barrier, - be treated poorly.
This platform has two purposes: it helps you in filing your report or complaint process and helps to shed light on the phenomenon of racism against Asians in all its forms to better combat it!
Faced with theft, violence and racism targeting the most vulnerable in society and particularly Asian, our team which is made up of volunteers and anonymous activists from all walks of life joined to fight for justice and a peaceful life.
From our shared experience, the team took the bull by the horns and launched various cultural, educational, media, legal actions, and in particular this support platform which wants to help in the fight against violence and racism.
Active volunteers are anonymous, apolitical and wish to remain so to preserve the independence and moral integrity essential to the merits of our actions. We are completely open to welcoming new people who would like to get to know us better and become active member
Solidarity is the first step towards recovery or resilience. We have brought together a community made up of professionals in health, law, social action, most often speaking an Asian language to support each victim in the most sensitive and appropriate way.
The use of this platform will also help in the preparation of reports in order to sensitize the public authorities to invest in the protection of the most vulnerable. Fill two needs with one deed. Join us and participate in our project to increase the community’s solidarity and to work concretely in the fight against racism targeting Asians.