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In response to the "Appeal of the 113"
Nuclear Disarmement: President Hollande’s Dereliction of Duty

What he ought to have said and didn’t say to the French people in his TV interview on 28 March 2013, and what he did tell them, to their misfortune - theirs, his and that of all human beings.

Published 6 April 2013

“Do you, Monsieur le Président, want France to participate with the other states concerned in the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, under a system of mutual and international monitoring that is strict and effective?"

That was the question which ACDN put to President Hollande on 25 March 2013 and invited David Pujadas to put to him during his TV interview on 28 March France 2.

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Archbishop Christophe Dufour to President Hollande, 5 June 2012

Mgr Christophe Dufour, archbishop of Aix and Arles, had put it to him directly on 7 June 2012, as part of his support for the hunger strike which ACDN’s president had begun on May 15 and had continued with another ACDN member until they found the doors of the Elysée Palace barred to them on 25 June 2012.

That question repeats a similar question which thousands of people have subsequently wished to see put to the French people, and which 113 personalities, elected representatives, heads of French and international NGOs, political and religious leaders, recently asked President Hollande to make the subject of a referendum.

For François Hollande it was an opportunity once and for all to match up to the duties of his position, and to connect with popular good sense, given that 80% of French citizens are favourable to the abolition of nuclear weapons (according to an IFOP poll from 2012).

He could, for example, have answered like this: "Yes, I want that, for it would be a huge benefit for France and for humanity - and in any case I am bound to follow that path by law, by treaties France has ratified, and by the French Constitution.” Or like this: "That question is so important that it deserves to be put to the French people. I will make it the subject of a referendum."

The question was not formally put to him in the interview, but the President touched on it himself in discussing questions asked by David Pujadas about the defense budget. Here is what he said:

"We have nuclear weapons. People may think what they like about these weapons. I know that a certain number of French citizens are opposed. As for me, what I say to them is: ‘They are our guarantee, our protection... They must be retained and even modernized.’”

Although he didn’t dare speak of “life-insurance” as Nicolas Sarkozy used to do, François Hollande was merely confirming what he had written to us as long ago as 17 November 2006 when he was national secretary of the Parti Socialiste, merely repeating what he had declared in an article in the weekly Nouvel Observateur on 22 December 2011, merely reaffirming the 60th and final undertaking of his electoral programme.

But that undertaking was directly contrary to France’s Non Proliferation Treaty commitment, and it was not mandated by the choices of his electors - not only because it was merely one of 60 undertakings, but because his main rival Nicolas Sarkozy intended to follow exactly the same policy. Therefore this policy of François Hollande is certainly not the reason why voters cast their ballots for him... or for Nicolas Sarkozy.

In fact the French people have never had the opportunity to study and to decide about this “300 billion Euro Question”. The nuclear strike-force was imposed on them and has remained imposed on them without possible discussion. Deprived of debate and democratic choice, they remain forcibly yoked to a policy of preparing crimes against humanity, and of horizontal and vertical proliferation of nuclear weapo... yoked to the worst manifestation of human stupidity.

Now that François Hollande is the President of France, what might formerly have passed for a sort of autism common in the upper spheres of French politico-strategic thought is now, through him, a conscious and deliberate violation of national and international law.

On 28 March 2013 François Hollande, President of the French Republic, placed himself beyond the pale of humanity and history. He has committed a grave mistake, probably the most serious judicial, political, moral and historical fault of his five-year term: a dereliction of duty.

We refuse any complicity in this State Crime. We now have no choice but to bring the question before judicial authorities, national and international.