FRANCE – A police trade union defends Jehovah’s Witnesses against ‘anti-cult’ deputy Jean-Pierre Brard
CFTC Press Release (23.07.2006)/ HRWF Int. (23.10.2006) – Website: http://www.hrwf.org – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – The Communist deputy and mayor of Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis), Jean-Pierre Brard, made an aggressive statement about the leaders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, on July 20, 2006, on TF1, calling them “perfect delinquents”, while the mayor of Lens (62) wanted to ban their assembly which is taking place this weekend at the Bollaert stadium in Lens (Pas-de-Calais). On July 23, 2006, the secretary general of the trade union Action Police CFTC, Michel Thooris, issued the following press release:
“Jehovah’s Witnesses are citizens who respect the laws of the Republic. No criteria in their daily life can be used to label them “a cult”, thinks Michel Thooris, secretary general of the trade union Action Police CFTC (French Confederation of the Christian Workers). They do not disturb public order. They work, they pay taxes, they contribute to the economical development of our country and make donations to charities. The mixing of these people of all races and origins who gather peacefully is encouraging. As far as we can go back in the past, we have never seen a quarrel or a dispute that would have justified our intervention. If everybody was a Jehovah’s Witness, we, policemen, would be unemployed. We have some difficulties in understanding the controversy concerning the gathering of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Bollaert stadium in Lens (62). Banning such a peaceful meeting is a serious breach of freedom of worship and of the 1901 Law on associations. It is an open door to religious vote-catching gimmick and a case of inequality of treatment between the three main monotheist religions in France: Jews, Christians and Muslims. It is in contradiction with the republican principle of equality.
Tomorrow, according to some personal political agenda, people of this or that religious movement will not be allowed to gather together. This is unacceptable. While Christians are massacred in Darfur, in general indifference, some try to ban a Christian religion in France.”
Michel Thooris, secretary general of the trade union Action Police CFTC