Gérald Darmanin files a complaint against a trade unionist for “defamation”

The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, filed a complaint against a Breton trade unionist who was heard in a free hearing on Friday for “defamation and public insult towards the national gendarmerie and the national police”. A source close to the matter confirmed this complaint to AFP. The activist, Olivier Cuzon, was implicated in his capacity as publishing director of the newspaper of the Sud-Education union in Finistère, printed in a thousand copies and duplicated on the organization’s website.

“Homophobic culture under too many caps”

“I was interviewed on Friday at the Brest police station by the criminal brigade (…) A complaint filed in the name of the Minister of the Interior in person, I did not expect it, there is a desire for intimidation », declared this physics-chemistry teacher in a high school in Brest.

Unsigned because “written collectively”, the contested article, published in October, questioned the relevance of the “defense, global security classes”, decided by the government after the attacks of 2015. It estimated the number at 500, “concerning 12,500 students”. The article noted the nature of certain “workshops” carried out in this context, such as “prison cell searches, laser gun shooting”.

He wondered if we should not see in these classes “a form of indoctrination, an outdated and resolutely reactionary patriotism? », continuing: “This questioning is important when we know the right-wing, misogynist and homophobic culture under too many caps”. He mentioned various cases mentioned in the press on “the existence of small Nazi groups in certain barracks, racist discussion groups of police officers and gendarmes”.

On the attack on the right to critical expression

This complaint from Gérald Darmanin sparked reactions of support for Olivier Cuzon in Finistère from political figures, unions and associations. In a press release, the local section of the Human Rights League (LDH) “is concerned about the attack on the right to critical expression of government measures and the behavior of certain members of the police” and “is outraged by this attack on the fundamental rights of a free and independent press”.

According to the Ministry of the Armed Forces, these “defense classes” have “a triple objective: to contribute to national cohesion, to promote the spirit of defense and to guarantee the attractiveness of army professions”. After the hearing of the trade unionist, it will be up to the prosecutor to dismiss the matter or to prosecute, recalled Olivier Cuzon.

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