Aren't they supposed to be the exemplars of human rights? After all, their leaders regularly condemn America for human rights abuses. The BBC reports:
France's law enforcement and prison system have been sharply criticised by Europe's human rights watchdog.
The Council of Europe found prisons were overcrowded and police operated with a sense of impunity, according to excerpts from a report due next week.
The council's human rights commissioner Alvaro Gil—Robles said there was a "widening gap" between the "text of law and what is actually practiced".
The report comes months after many French cities were rocked by riots.
The report makes 50 recommendations to improve France's record.
They include faster and more effective access to legal assistance for detainees, separating convicts and people awaiting trial and shortening the maximum allowed 45—day solitary confinement.
Details of the report were leaked to Le Parisien newspaper, and confirmed by Mr Gil—Robles.
Ed Lasky 2 12 06