French Students, Gassed, Lead Fight Against Police Brutality

  • French riot police during a demonstration by youth against police brutality after a young Black man was severely injured during his arrest in early February. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 February 2017 (5 hours 52 minutes ago)

Police turned on kids protesting officers’ rape of a young Black man in a mass demonstration three weeks after the rape.

French police fired tear gas at students Thursday protesting against the alleged rape of a young Black man by police, which left him hospitalized for two weeks.

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Clashes Break Out in France After Police Say Rape an ‘Accident’

Hundreds of high-school students blocked the entrances to more than a dozen schools in Paris during the rally. Police made 26 arrests for vandalism and throwing projectiles, according to Reuters.

It was the latest in a series of demonstrations against the alleged police brutalization and rape with a baton of a 22-year-old man identified only as Theo, who is still recovering from injuries to his anus and head.

Paris school authorities said more than 10 schools had been targeted by the students, who piled up trash bins and other objects at the entrance gates.

Video footage on social media showed a confrontation on the fringes of the rally in the Place de la Nation square in the east of Paris, where riot police in protective gear advanced on groups of students in narrow side streets. A helicopter flew overhead and tear gas clouds rose into the air above the square towards the end of the rally.

The Paris police department had violence-baiting the protests even before it took place. Protests have erupted for three weeks throughout Paris in response to the brutal beating by police.

The officers allegedly assaulted the young man after he confronted them for slapping someone during an ID check. He said that one then anally raped him with a baton, and all four spat on him, beat his genitals and called him racial slurs.

French police responded that the penetration was accidental and that his pants “slipped down on their own,” leading an internal inquiry to claim there was insufficient evidence to prove intended rape.

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Four police officers have been suspended pending an inquiry into the Feb. 2 incident. One has been placed under formal investigation for suspected rape and three others for unnecessary use of force.

The police commissioner of the same suburb was sentenced in 2008 for allowing policemen under his command to rape a detained man in Paris in 2004, according to media reports last week.

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.

Tags

France Europe Police brutality Racism BlackLivesMatter

Reuters

by teleSUR / nrc-RT


Le Pen Top Aide Put Under Formal Investigation over Corruption

  • French National Front leader Marine Le Pen walks on the Promenade des Anglais with her bodyguard Thierry Legier in Nice, France.

    French National Front leader Marine Le Pen walks on the Promenade des Anglais with her bodyguard Thierry Legier in Nice, France. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 February 2017
The case has landed her in the spotlight alongside another candidate, Francois Fillon, another right-winger being investigated over public funds.

The chief of staff of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen was put under formal investigation Wednesday after a day of questioning over alleged misuse of EU funds to pay parliamentary assistants.

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Catherine Griset was taken into custody for questioning along with Le Pen’s bodyguard Thierry Legier, who was later released without being put under investigation, according to a source.

In reaction to the news, Le Pen said she formally denied any wrongdoing in a case that she said was being used to undermine her campaign.

“There is a very big risk of the justice system being manipulated. I think that today the justice system is not doing its work with a cool head, impartiality and independently. Everything indicates so,” Le Pen said.

The case has landed her in the spotlight alongside another candidate, Francois Fillon, another right-winger being investigated over public funds he paid to his wife and children as parliamentary assistants.

Griset and Legier are key figures in an investigation opened following demands by the European Parliament that Le Pen repay money she is accused of wrongly paying to the two.

Wednesday’s detentions followed a police raid Monday on Le Pen’s National Front party headquarters, while she was abroad.

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Rapper Sentenced to 3 Years in Jail for Rap about King of Spain

  • Josep Miquel Arenas known as Valtonyc the rapper.

    Josep Miquel Arenas known as Valtonyc the rapper. | Photo: EFE

Published 23 February 2017 (6 hours 51 minutes ago)
“Art should be provocative,” Valtonyc told the daily El Español.

A Spanish court condemned rapper Josep Miquel Arenas, also known as Valtonyc, to three years and a half in jail Tuesday for incitement to terrorism, insulting the crown and threats, in relation to one of his songs where he criticized Spanish King Juan Carlos.

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During the hearing, the rapper said that he conceived the track as a proposal of Podemos’ leader Pablo Iglesias, for his weekly program La Tuerka.

Iglesias expressed his support for the musician in a tweet saying “Impunity for the corrupted, and jail for creating a song. Rapping about the King should not be a crime.”

The song included lyrics suggesting that (nationist leader) Jorge Campos, head of the Circulo Balear Foundation, “deserved a nuclear bomb,” and “Monarchy is his ideology … I’ll see you in the Royal Palace with a Kalashnikov,” adding that “we want death for those two.”

“All I’ve said about the King, is in the media: the fact that he killed his brother, that he had lovers, that he killed an elephant … so which insults are we talking about if everything was already published in newspapers?” he asked El Español.

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