French Polynesia Covid-19 curfew declared illegal

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PAPE'ETE (RNZ Pacific/Pacnews) — The curfew imposed in French Polynesia over the Covid-19 outbreak has been lifted with immediate effect after the administrative court ruled it was illegal.

In late March,  French High Commissioner Dominique Sorain and French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch declared a nightly nine-hour curfew to tighten the lockdown conditions.

The territory-wide curfew was extended last month until May 13 despite many restrictions having been lifted, which prompted lawyer Thibault Millet to seek a court ruling.

The judges found that the decree was a serious attack on individual liberty and patently illegal because there was no sign of nightly gatherings.

The court also ruled the decree banning meetings of more than 50 people was illegal because the outbreak caused no death and of the 60 people who were infected, 54 no longer showed any symptoms.

Millet told Radio 1 that he was pleased to see that the democratic institutions functioned even under a state of emergency,

He said at times a balance between security and liberty needed to be found and that was done with the court's decision.

He also said his court challenge was not an attack on the high commissioner's decisions, which were effective in managing a crisis, but a way to rebalance fundamental rights.

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