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U.N. Panel Critical of Quebec Law

April 09, 1993|Reuters

MONTREAL — A Canadian language lobby group said Thursday that a U.N. human rights committee has found that language laws to protect French in Quebec province infringe on the right to freedom of expression.

The province of Quebec has a large number of English-speakers among the French-speaking majority. Law 178, adopted by Quebec in December, 1988, bans the use of languages other than French on most signs.

The group says the General Assembly's human rights committee told them it found that the laws that prohibit most signs in a language other than French violate U.N. articles that protect civil and political rights.

The apparent non-binding decision by the committee was taken orally in secret with only the petitioners notified, U.N. sources said in New York. A formal report will be issued in several weeks.

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