Act for a training plan to raise awareness of sexual violence in French military schools

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Mr. President of the Republic,

It is with great respect for your office, and for you as a man, that we are writing to you today. Unfortunately, your predecessor did not respond to the call of more than 250 000 citizens who ask simple and efficient measures to be put in place against sexual violence in armed conflict, a major scourge that tells a lot about the state of our society.

We are a team of three documentary filmmakers and together we initiated the ZERO IMPUNITY project to fight the impunity of sexual violence in conflict. We therefore have the honor to address you and ask for your power to intervene in a dramatic situation affecting many women and children who are victims of the sexual violence of some of our soldiers on mission abroad. We are already more than 250 000 citizens to have signed a petition and mobilized to ask for concrete actions of prevention.

It has now been 2 years since the first alerts were launched. You certainly remember Anders Kompass, a UN official who denounced the impunity surrounding the charges of sexual violence of French soldiers during Operation Sangaris in the Central African Republic.

From now on we can see the mistrials following one another. It was also with anger and amazement that we learned on January 3rd by an AFP news that the French justice had decided to classify ‘sans-suite’ the case of young Noëlla Pazoukou whose story we have traced in our "Sangaris DNA" investigation published by Mediapart and 8 other international media. A procedure had been opened against X for "rape committed by a person abusing the authority conferred by his office". Neither the girl nor the Bangui Prosecutor had been informed. The Paris public prosecutor's office announced it to the media only after the outcome of our investigation. This is obviously unacceptable and we are sure that you understand our indignation.

We do not want to call into question the independence of justice and the principle of the separation of powers. We are not seeking to substitute ourselves for Justice. Nor do we seek to build ourselves into sermonizers. We merely wish to find solutions so that this kind of "slippage" does not happen again in the future and that the lives of adolescent girls and boys, such as those of Chimène or Noëlla, are no longer destroyed by the behavior of a few. We must avoid at all costs such situations which are as many time bombs. Situations which, through anger, inequality and indignation, are a brake on peace and reconstruction of friend countries.

It is thus with great benevolence, much love even that we call on you today. Our peaceful collective wishes above all to bring the debate more into the sphere of formation than into that of punishment. Because we firmly believe in the effectiveness of education and training. And that is the whole point of our request.

We, and the 250,000 citizens who support us, are asking you to set up a NATIONAL ACTION PLAN around a key measures: 

  • A MANDATORY PREVENTION policy on sexual violence and its consequences. These training cycles will be given to non-commissioned soldiers, in the schools of officers and non-commissioned officers, by specialized structures independent from the army.

We rely on your benevolence to respond favorably to our request and to organize with us and the partners concerned, the basis of a conversation, an exchange that will enable us to find the solutions to put an end to this situation.

We ask you to believe, Mr. President of the Republic, to the assurance of our highest consideration.

ZERO IMPUNITY

 



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