France: violence during protests

Burning cars in Paris

Across France, more than 100,000 people demonstrated against a new security law on Saturday.

(Photo: Reuters)

Paris More than a hundred thousand people have taken to the streets in France after several cases of brutal police violence in protest against a controversial law to protect the police. As the French news agency AFP reported, citing the Ministry of the Interior, a total of 133,000 people demonstrated across the country on Saturday. In Paris alone there were 46,000. According to France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, a total of 37 police officers and gendarmes were injured in the protests. On Twitter, he condemned the violence as unacceptable.

Paris police said 46 people were arrested and 23 police officers injured. AFP had previously reported riots. There were also clashes in the Breton city of Rennes, and the police used tear gas.

According to the government, the security law should better protect the police and restrict video recordings of police operations. An article of the law provides for the publication of pictures of security officers on duty to be made a criminal offense, if this is done with the aim of injuring the physical or mental integrity of the police officers. A prison sentence of one year or a fine of 45,000 euros could therefore be the consequence.

Only this week two brutal police operations had become known through videos: on Monday of an aggressive evacuation of tents by migrants, on Thursday of an attack on a black music producer. Many also see the freedom of the press at risk because of the planned law. After the lower house approved the project on Tuesday, the Senate now has to deal with the controversial law.

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