Rape of Black Man an ‘Accident,’ Say French Police

  • Protester in Paris, France

    Protester in Paris, France | Photo: Ruptly

Published 11 February 2017
Racial profiling by French police during routine identity checks has been condemned by the courts.

French police announced Thursday that they believe the rape of a Black man by police using a baton was accidental and that evidence showing the penetration was intentional was insufficient. This conclusion was made after an internal inquiry was conducted by the police.

France to Equip Police with Body Cameras amid Unease

The statement was made after days of protests in the French capital by those outraged by the excessive use of force against a 22-year-old Black man in a Paris suburb.

The incident occurred in a housing complex in the Aulnay-sous-Bois suburb when four police officers arrived to conduct identity checks. A 22-year-old Black man, identified only by his first name Theo, was allegedly stopped by the officers, forced to the ground and beaten. The young man did not have a prior criminal record.

The abuse caused him serious injuries for which he was rushed to a hospital and required surgery due to the severity of the injuries. One of the police officers has been charged with rape, while three others were charged with assault.

Protests erupted throughout Paris in response to the brutal beating by police.

There has been little oversight of police practices in France, even after sociologists ran an independent study in 2009 proving that racial profiling is a reality. The study found that a Black or Arab person had a 6.2 and 7.7 percent greater chance, respectively, of being stopped by police than a white person.

While much more limited than 12 years ago, the unrest served as a reminder of the simmering tensions in neighborhoods with higher-than-average unemployment and big immigrant populations, as France prepares to elect a new president this year.


Senate Dems Join Republican Attack on Palestinian Solidarity

  • Demonstration against Israel

    Demonstration against Israel’s 2014 massacre in Gaza. Berlin, Germany. Aug. 1, 2014 | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 February 2017
The bipartisan bill is the latest attack on the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement in solidarity with civil society in Palestine.

On Tuesday, eight Democratic senators joined former Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio in introducing a Senate bill attacking the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, BDS, which aims at ending the illegal occupation of Palestine and ongoing violations of human rights by Israeli authorities.

The War on BDS: Israel to Spy on Foreign Activists, Deport Them

Rubio said the bill, titled The Combatting BDS Act of 2017, will “fight back” against the the growing BDS movement by “affirming the legal authority of state and local governments to take tangible actions to counter economic warfare against Israel.”

The bill would allow state and local governments to withdraw funding for any organization “engaged in BDS conduct,” thus giving them “an offensive capability against entities seeking to economically harm Israel,” according to Rubio’s statement announcing the legislation.

“This bipartisan legislation gives state and local governments a legal way to combat the shameful boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel,” said Democratic senator for West Virginia Joe Manchin, a co-sponsor of the bill.

Rubio also explicitly stated that the proposed legislation is a response to the historic U.N. Security Council resolution calling on Israel to end its construction of illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) and Beyond

Rubio’s bill is the first attempt to make national several anti-Palestinian solidarity measures passed by state legislatures in Wyoming and New York. Similar to those attempts, however, this legislation will likely fail any constitutional test.

“The Rubio bill doesn’t solve the fundamental problem with these anti-BDS laws, which is that they violate the First Amendment,” said Rahul Saksena, a staff attorney with Palestine Legal, in an interview with The Electronic Intifada.

“Boycotts have been used throughout U.S. history ― from the Boston Tea Party, to the Civil Rights Movement, to the anti-South African ( Apartheid movement ― to challenge injustice and promote social change,” said Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights in a statement responding to New York State’s so-called “blacklist” bill passed in December of last year.

Launched in 2005 by 170 Palestinian civil society organizations — including unions, refugee networks, women’s organizations and professional associations — and inspired by the anti-Apartheid movement, the BDS movement calls on individuals and organizations to pressure the Israeli government to end its illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, recognize the right of return of Palestinian refugees and guarantee full civil and human rights to Arab-Palestinian citizens of the Israeli state.


South Korea calls on Israel to stop settlement expansion

Palestinian protesters pray during a demonstration against Jewish settlements in the Palestinian village of Deir Estia in the occupied West Bank on 2 April 2010 [Najeh Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

Palestinian protesters pray during a demonstration against Jewish settlements in the Palestinian village of Deir Estia in the occupied West Bank on 2 April 2010 [Najeh Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

South Korea expressed its disappointment on Friday of the Israeli Knesset’s approval of the settlement bill which retroactively legalises previously illegal settlement outposts built on private occupied Palestinian land, Mesralarabia.com has reported.

“The South Korean government calls for Israel to stop building settlements in the West Bank,” said spokesperson and Deputy Minister for Public Relations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cho June-hyuck.

He called for Israeli “cooperation with the international efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation based on the two-state solution.”

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