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How Whistleblowers are being assassinated in France (Part II)

How Whistleblowers are being assassinated in France (Part II)

Published Mar 26, 2021 Updated Mar 26, 2021
time 12 min

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How Whistleblowers are being assassinated in France (Part II)

The most efficient way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.

George Orwell


Powerlessness of the Defender of Rights which is inoperative

When Françoise Nicolas, a diplomat employed by the Embassy of France in Benin, suffered a murder attempt whilst at her desk so it seemed obvious that her Administration would take all the measures to protect her at once. However she was confronted with the ‘reasons of state’ for the first time in 2011, her file was rejected in 2012 because it had to be treated under the angle of discrimination whereas she also was blowing the whistle about public funds embezzlement. Such was the law then. At that time, the legal department of the Defender of Rights had explained that discrimination established over twelve years (age or sex) was not long enough. Her file could only have been instructed after a 30-year discrimination period (sic). Thanks to the new scope of activities of the Defender of Rights within the December 2016 law, her case has since been investigated. But it seems that there is a flaw in the law because of a pending criminal complaint (a criminal complaint for murder attempt against persons unknown): the Defender of Rights cannot investigate her Administration until authorized by the Nantes State Prosecutor. But the latter, who has been contacted since March 2017, does not answer. The jurist in charge of the investigation of her file states that he is being deprived of answers towards the situation of the civil servant.

What the specialists qualify as ‘gang stalking’ shows the will to run someone down at the administrative, political, legal or economic levels. For example, some whistleblowers regularly receive letters from different administrations explaining that their files are out of date, that they cannot receive any compensation, that they are ‘guilty’. In spite of the numerous copies of documents sent several times by registered mail, administrations claim that they haven’t received ‘evidence' of the situations. Among others, it is about ‘Pôle Emploi’ (Office for employment), ‘CAF’ (the family allowance office), taxes but also the Defender of Rights. This process embarks the whistleblower on a course that leads to extreme fatigue, frustration and stress. This also allows the authorities to have the whistleblower kept under control because the fear of not being in order with the authorities leads to a constraint to silence. Sometimes, we also are being told that we are extremely lucky because we would have been pushed to suicide in other countries! With such convincing arguments, one is allowed to think that there are good times ahead for the corruption in France and elsewhere.

Fire tests gold, suffering tests brave men.



In France, plutocracy has thrived to such an extent that the 2017 presidential campaign marks a milestone. Not for its ideal debates but for the lack of integrity and ethics of those who have enjoyed a level of opacity which allowed them to remain unpunished. In the Latin sense of the word, obscenity means being off the scene, thus invisible, hidden. This obscenity towards the religion of power and money is being found in all the occupations which the whistleblowers have been close to, namely the justice, the companies, the media, the administration and politics. Le Petit Journal, a Canal Plus program, had filmed a certain number of Deputies who were playing Candy Crush on their cell phones during a session at the French Parliament. This could be laughed at if the situation of many French people was not as difficult as it is and if they could possibly have forgotten that we are their employers. They are therefore considered to be responsible for giving us an account of what they are paid for.


How Whistleblowers are being assassinated by elected Representatives

One is talking here about exemplarity and responsibility. How is it possible that not a single elected representative of the large political parties and which have been in power one after the other for the last thirty years, has done anything in concrete terms? Why hasn’t the President of the French Parliament and the President of the Senate (Sénat) concretely acted towards the protection of whistleblowers and thus shown determination to protect our national economic, public health and the interests of each and every one? They should have served as an example and would have let the elected representatives at least in the majority to follow suit. What about our emergency solutions? Credit lines should have been opened to help honest citizens who stood up for the general interest as much as it is possible to open credit lines for weapon and ammunition intermediaries. It would thus be normal to act in favour of the ones who are in danger because of the disclosures they have made regarding the common good. I had written such a proposal to President François Hollande and to Michel Sapin, his Minister of Finances. I still am awaiting their answers.

Françoise Nicolas declares that she has sent letters to a large number of high-ranking politicians, amongst them the French President, his Ministers of Foreign Affairs, of the ‘Fonction Publique’ (The French civil service refers to all staff members and contract employees who hold positions in the state civil service), of the women’s rights and also to members of the Parliament. She has met several of them and qualifies as “cynical” the feeling she has towards the discrepancy between their virtuous speeches and the sordidness of the situations. As far as Jean-Marc Ayrault is concerned, he had been informed of Françoise Nicolas’s situation when he was the Deputy of Loire Atlantique. He had then put forward the “separation of powers”. As a Minister, he never answered Françoise Nicolas’s letters. Among the Members of Parliament, Françoise has written to Françoise Descamps-Crosnier, a Socialist Party Deputy of the Yvelines, Rapporteur of the Bill relating to the compliance and to the rights and duties of the civil servants (March 2016) and a Vice-President of the Friendship Group France-Benin. The whistleblower described in writing her situation as a whistleblower and a civil servant at the French Embassy in Benin. The immediate answer of the Deputy was: “The elements which you have wished to inform me of, if established, are serious”. Françoise immediately sent elements to that end, namely photos of her wounds, judgements and complaints. Unfortunately, she never received any answers. Confronted to a disturbing reality, Françoise adds that it is more comfortable to look away and continue to describe an idyllic and virtuous ‘fonction publique’.

Dominique Raimbourg, a Socialist Party Deputy of Loire-Atlantique, President of the Law Commission at the French Parliament, met Françoise in his Committee Room when for the third time she was confronted to the ‘reasons of state’ in a court and when, already, the Deputy and his team were working on a new law towards the protection of the whistleblowers (at last). He listened to Françoise carefully assuring her that “Jean-Marc Ayrault indeed wished to put straight again” the acknowledged excess of the Administration by the Minister for which he was just appointed. The two men have a long-term friendship, both being Socialist Party Deputies of Loire-Atlantique, since 1997 for one and 1986 for the other one. However Mr Raimbourg also remained silent, he never answered Françoise’s emails and the letters she left at his office. If a President of a Law Commission is not in shock when the reason of state is put forward to deprive Françoise of her rights, who will then be?

Each of us has made calls for citizens in danger because it is the responsibility of our prominent politicians to commit themselves to defending us. The general interest should be at the core of all the debates at the French Parliament, at the Senate and at the European Parliament in Brussels. Divide and rule must stop. What other choice is available to the citizens but gathering to oppose the organisation of the lobbies, because we are the citizens lobby? Without us, the elected representatives wouldn’t have their jobs. They seem to forget that we are their employers. It is really about a politician’s will to kill us by inches, otherwise solutions would have been found individually, for each of us.

As governed today, our democracy presents a certain number of flawsOur stories are here to prove that the endemic corruption has been encouraged and serves plutocracy, which remains in power thanks to lies and has for a long time believed it was above the law itself. The outright lie of the Minister of Budget Jérôme Cahuzac at the Assemblee Nationale facing TV cameras, elected representatives and all the French citizens will be remembered. If a currentMinister of Budget is able to declare that he fights tax evasion whereas he was himself the owner of offshore accounts in Switzerland – namely at UBS in Geneva - it is because he believes he is untouchable. What was more surprising for some citizens, was to acknowledge the support Mr. Cahuzac received from an important number of elected representatives when the scandal was reportedin the media at the end of 2013.

There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.

Montesquieu - De l’esprit des lois

This is about exemplarity and responsibility. How is it possible that the elected representatives of the “big” French political parties which have successively taken office for more than thirty years haven’t done anything? How haven’t the President of the National Assembly and the one of the Senate they been able to act as far as whistleblowers protection and thus show how their determination in protecting our national economies, public health and the interests of each citizen? They should have shown exemplarity and would have encouraged the elected members of the majority parliamentary groups – at least – to follow suit. What about urgency solutions? Credit lines should have been opened to support (and save) honest citizens who stood up for the general interest exactly at it is possible to open credit lines when one paysweapons and ammunition intermediaries. It seems normal to act in favor of the ones who are in danger because of the disclosures they have made towards common good. I had proposed the idea to both President François Hollande and Michel Sapin, his Minister of Finances and am still awaiting their answers.

The whistleblower Françoise Nicolas supporting Julian Assange in London, 2019 – personal collection

Each of us has made calls for citizens in danger because it is the responsibility of our prominent politicians to commit themselves to defending us. The general interest should be at the core of all the debates at the French Parliament, at the Senate and at the European Parliament in Brussels. Divide and rule must stop. What other choice is available to the citizens but gathering to oppose the organization of the lobbies, because we are the citizens lobby? Without us, the elected representatives wouldn’t have their jobs. They seem to forget that we are their employers. It is really about a politician’s will to kill us by inches, otherwise solutions would have been found individually, for each of us. In 2020, Françoise Nicolas was auditioned by Ugo Bernalicis, a France Insoumise elected representative, as far as whistleblowers civil servants are concerned.

On April 5th2016 I was invited by La Chaîne Parlementaire (the Parliament Channel) for a live broadcast of the program ‘Ca vous regarde’ (It’s in your interest) entitled: “Panama Papers: The Massive Evasion” presented by the journalist Arnaud Ardouin.

For this occasion, Eric Alt, Vice-President of the Anticor association, Karine Berger, a Parti Socialiste Deputy and Nicolas Bay, a Front National Euro Deputy were also invited. Considering the exemplarity I have been showing since 2008 is not to be questioned, whereas women’s solidarity is for me more than a concept, I was expecting support, interest and even a proposition for help to end my numerous difficulties from the Parti Socialiste elected woman. Alas, I was totally wrong. In the make-up room before the live broadcast, seven persons including Eric Alt, Nicolas Bay, two assistants from the TV channel and the make-up girl heard Karin Berger aggress me verbally with terms more than shocking, pointing out that my professional and financial situations are “my fault”, because there are no laws to protect whistleblowers. According to that woman, I should “never have exposed” what I did. Finding myself in an insecure situation, having to leave my apartment and being separated from my children is “but normal” according to this elected representative.

I met Virginie Rozière, French S&D Euro Deputy in September 2015 during the evening when Antoine Deltour received the European Citizen prize in Paris. She told me then that I should make less noise as far as the nuisance and the power of the lobbyistsin Brussels are concerned, because she had never met any. Why was she then among the ones who signed the “Business Secrecy” directive several months later? Is ituseful to recall that the financial lobbyists spend more than 120 million euros each year in Brussels?

Whereas the former Eurodeputy and I had never had any written exchanges, I received a quite long email on November 10, 2017, concluding with: (...) "As you can see, my commitment to protect whistleblowers has always beensincere and continuous. These women and men are the first bulwark of the general interest against the wrongdoings of individuals and institutions. To promote a report on the whistleblowers protection has been an honor and like many whistleblowers and transparency advocacy associationsI am very pleased with the outcome of the Directive voted at the Parliament in October. But this battle will not suffice if the content of our proposals is not taken into account by the European Commission and by the European Council. This is why it is important to unite our strength and keep up the pressure on the Commission to make sure that a text that meets the challenges will be published! "

Everybody is able to understand that passing laws is at huge stake however we would already been protected because Mr. Eric Dupont-Moretti, our Ministry of Justice declared in 2017 on the French channel BFM TV

To see that a crime takes place without reporting it, is a crime. This is a failure to report known crimes.


Eric Dupont Moretti


Once again, one can raise the issue regarding the protection enjoyed by the ones who do not report. Until now, these citizens are far more protected than whistleblowers because they are integrated in societyhave a job and do not face endless legal procedures.They are not harassed nor ostracized nor isolated. As a reminder, the former UBS managers indicted and convicted in 2019 all work for the banking industry. We will know before summer 2021 if the court appeal confirms their conviction.

As such ‘Mr. Idea’ (Name modified as per mysource’s requestexplains that the French law must be put in place by dealing with the problem upfront. He supports the following reasoning: “The empowerment of those who know and remain silent responsibly is a prerequisite to any realistic discussion on ethics, in addition to the protection of the whistleblower. In order to seriously fight against the corruption we can not only attack its effects that force the victims to very long procedures and with improbable results. First and foremost, we must as much as possible dry up the source of the corruption which mainly stands in the protection afforded to ‘the ones who know’ in the name of a respect of individual freedoms which in a misguided way comes to oppose the natural right of the victims or all parties to a fair trial”.

Why do headhunters, companies and administration turn their back onwhistleblowers? Why don’telected representatives hire whistleblowers as parliamentary assistants, for example? Why wouldn’t the administration give us a jobWhy keeping honest and skilled people in precarious situations? Is is about scaring citizens and make sure that they will remain silent? Exactly as declared by the French whistleblower Alain Robert"Do we wish a world with more or with less whistleblowers?"



Photo: OECD Roundtable - March 2019 – Personal collection

Virginie Rozière and I were speakers during a OECD roundtable in 2019. During twenty minutes, I exposed the very serious difficulties I have been facing for more than a decade, which ruined my life both because exposing the UBS wrongdoings and by helping on order the French State during more than a year. The former Eurodeputy then explained that a European Directive would then be voted. Two different worlds meet and collide, they cannot understand each other: On my side, I was expecting humanity, feminine solidarity, human warmthconcrete assistance exactly as I was expecting the same from the elective representative Karine Berger; on the other side, the elected representatives cannot understand our situations because they have never experienced them. In 2017, one of the Irish Eurodeputies declared at the European Parliament that whistleblowers should ''Keep your mouth shut (…) You will destroy your lives! (…) Keep your mouth shut, don’t be stupid”. Let's keep in mind that his country has the reputation to offer the best protection to whistleblowers in Europe...

Our experiences prove that the State is the first one not to respect the law represented by senior government officials whom nobody knows and who never are accountable for the decisions they make. Some "elites" have decided that on one side there would be whistleblowers, integrated in society, employees or civil servants, supported by comittees, associations, political personalities and sub-whistleblowers who are ostracized, publicly criticized, left without resources and abandoned.


Cover photo: #anythingtosay - the statues of the Italian artist Davide Dormino, Pompidou Center, Paris, September 2015


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