Sectarian abuses: a bill presented, including a new offense on “psychological subjection”

Among the key measures of this text: the creation of a new offense targeting acts creating “psychological subjection”. This Wednesday, the Secretary of State for Citizenship, Sabrina Agresti-Roubache, presented to the Council of Ministers a bill to better fight against sectarian excesses.

This bill, presented to the Council of Ministers, is based on a simple observation: sectarian abuses “have changed their face” since the About-Picard law of 2001, with a “double multiplication reports to Miviludes (mission to fight against sects) » (4,020 in 2021) and a “transformation” of their nature, a ministerial source explains.

With the Covid-19 health crisis and the development of social networks, “we have seen the emergence of 2.0 gurus who bring together real communities,” we add.

A recognized “aggravating circumstance”

The bill, which aims to be “a major reform of the legal tools” of 2001, plans to create a new offense to “directly repress acts aimed at placing or maintaining a person in a state of psychological subjection”. The penalties incurred would be three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 375,000 euros.

The text also wants to recognize an “aggravating circumstance” when crimes (violence, fraud, etc.) are committed. in a sectarian context. Among the other avenues, better support for victims and ministerial approval given to more victim istance ociations so that they can become civil parties.

While “25% of referrals of the Miviludes concern the field of health”, the text also wants to create an offense of “provocation to the abandonment or abstention of care, or to the adoption of practices” exposing to a “serious risk to health”. The penalty incurred would be 15,000 euros and one year of imprisonment. “It is a public health issue, with consequences that can be very serious,” the ministry explains.

“Around forty measures”

Finally, the bill wants to “facilitate disciplinary sanctions for deviant practitioners”, with the obligatory transmission of convictions and placements under judicial supervision.

This text of law is part of a “multi-year national strategy to combat sectarian aberrations” which the minister must also present this Wednesday. This strategy will include “around forty measures”: awareness campaign launched “in the coming months”, fight against excesses on social networks, improvement of support for victims, etc.

Although no figures have been given on these measures, the Ministry of the Interior specifies that since 2021, 1 million euros in subsidies have been released each year for victim istance ociations.

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