| Over 3 thousands protesters arrested during week of unrest in France | MR Online

Over 3 thousands protesters arrested during week of unrest in France

Originally published: Al Mayadeen on July 19, 2023 by Agencies (more by Al Mayadeen)  | (Posted Jul 22, 2023)

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin reported that approximately 3,800 individuals were detained during the country’s week-long turmoil after seventeen-year-old Nahel Merzouk was murdered in cold blood by a French police officer.

During a hearing at the parliament’s legal commission, Darmanin stated that “All in all, nearly 3,800 people were arrested and thus removed from the streets, preventing them from doing harm and attacking public buildings and people.”

According to the minister, police used street camera video following the incident to effectively identify and apprehend 345 more offenders. One-third of those imprisoned during the week of violence were young rioters, he said.

While the average age of those detained was 17-18, and 90% were French nationals. Sixty percent of them had no prior police record.

The cold-blooded murder of Nahel Merzouk by French police officers in Nanterre has exposed deep division within French societies. The event sparked ablaze a fire that holds within it decades worth of resentment felt by minorities in France towards authorities.

The protests have also angered the right in France who have been critical of Macron’s government for its inability to deal with the situation, leading to clashes between white French citizens and protestors in Paris.

Darmanin issued, on June 29, a suspension order against police officer Florian M., who is under investigation for “voluntary manslaughter” after he shot and killed Nahel Mezrouk, triggering the riots across France. Significantly, the issued order allowed the officer to continue to get paid.

French newspaper Liberation argued that the administrative decision, which was possibly well-meaning, was actually devoid of its supposed disciplinary nature.

The decree issued by Darmanin was, in fact, beneficial for the suspended officer, as he had not found himself in “Absence from Service.”

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