France’s Court of Cassation on Friday dismissed 500 complaints against the country’s interior minister for hindering the right to protest.
Public prosecutor Francois Molins announced his decision not to prosecute Christophe Castaner for his remarks that participants in the Yellow Vest protests were complicit with those who had resorted to violence.
Several other complaints were filed against Castaner relating to eye injuries caused by pepper spray used by security forces against the protestors.
The Yellow Vest protests, which started in reaction to fuel tax hikes and evolved into a protest against President Emmanuel Macron, have continued despite the government’s call for them to halt.
Since Nov. 17, thousands of protesters wearing bright yellow vests — dubbed the Yellow Vests — have gathered in major French cities, including Paris, to protest Macron’s controversial fuel tax hikes and the country’s deteriorating economic situation.
Demonstrators held protests blocking roads as well as the entrances and exits to gas stations and factories across the country.
Under pressure, Macron announced a rise in the minimum wage and scuttled the tax hikes.
Since then, however, the protests have grown into a broader movement aimed at tackling income inequality and are calling for giving citizens a stronger voice in government decision-making.
At least 10 people have died, around 6,000 have been detained and over 2,000 others have been injured in the protests.