Eleven members of the Ciivise resign in protest, after the replacement of Edouard Durand

Several members of the Independent Commission on Incest and Sexual Violence Against Children (Ciivise) announced, Thursday, December 14, their resignation in protest, a few days after the announcement of the replacement of judge Edouard Durand by the former -rugbyman Sébastien Boueilh

Eleven members of the Ciivise resign in protest, after the replacement of Edouard Durand

Several members of the Independent Commission on Incest and Sexual Violence Against Children (Ciivise) announced, Thursday, December 14, their resignation in protest, a few days after the announcement of the replacement of judge Edouard Durand by the former -rugbyman Sébastien Boueilh.

“We deplore that the two co-presidents [children's judge Edouard Durand and Nathalie Mathieu] were not previously informed neither of the maintenance of the Ciivise nor of the appointment [at its head] of Sébastien Boueilh, and therefore of the ouster of Edouard Durand", write the resigning members in a press release, signed by eleven people Thursday evening. “We denounce this silence in response to our requests” and “all the more so in view of our mission which aimed to “break the silence””, they add.

The members of the Ciivise had requested by letter, on November 10, from Charlotte Caubel “the maintenance of the Ciivise with Edouard Durand” at its head, they recall. “We received no response. It was through the press that we learned of the continuation of the commission on November 19,” regret the signatories, including psychiatrists Muriel Salmona and Karen Sadlier, the founders of victims’ associations Arnaud Gallais and Laurent Boyet, and Eva Thomas, one of the first people to have publicly testified to the incest of which she was a victim (in “Les Dossiers de l'screen” in 1986).

“A lid on the liberation of speech”

Ms. Mathieu “made it known from the start that she did not want to renew her mandate,” specify the resigners. But “like us, she explicitly supported the retention of Edouard Durand,” they write. “We have the impression that we are trying to put a lid on the freedom of speech that Ciivise has brought about,” lamented Mr. Boyet to Agence France-Presse. “We fear that this marks a weakening of the fight against incest, which is no longer at the heart of the Ciivise roadmap,” added Ms. Salmona.

Appointed vice-president of the Ciivise on Monday, Caroline Rey-Salmon, pediatrician and legal expert, “opposed a key recommendation of the Ciivise: making reporting by doctors compulsory,” worries Ms. Salmona.

Ms. Caubel announced on Monday the appointment as head of the Ciivise of ex-rugby player Sébastien Boueilh, founder of the Colosse aux pieds d'église association, which fights against sexual violence in the sporting environment.

The associations pleaded in favor of retaining judge Edouard Durand, appreciated in particular for his independence and his outspokenness. His media aura and his repeated criticisms of the dysfunctions in the judicial treatment of sexual violence were annoying, according to observers.