Human Rights Office condemns racist attack on French Justice MinisterListen /
The UN Human Rights Office has welcomed the French government's swift condemnation of what it described as a racist attack on the country's Justice Minister Christiane Taubira.
This week, a magazine published the minister's picture with the caption "Cunning as a monkey, Taubira gets the banana back."
Although the magazine stated these were just common French expressions, with the second used colloquially to describe someone who is very happy, Human Rights spokesperson Rupert Colville says the underlying racist intent of this play on words could not be more clear.
"This utterly unacceptable abuse of a prominent politician, on the basis of her colour, is a stark manifestation of the rising racism, xenophobia and intolerance aimed at members of ethnic and religious minorities, as well as migrants, in many European countries."
The Human Rights Office reiterates previous UN recommendations for France to step up its efforts to counter racism and xenophobia.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.