The dispute over police brutality and a new security law is escalating. Tens of thousands are taking to the streets in France and there are individual riots.
Paris (AP) – Dozens of protesters have been arrested in the mass demonstrations against a controversial security law and police brutality in France.
As the French news agency AFP reported Sunday morning, citing the Ministry of the Interior, 81 people were in police custody. In total, about 133,000 people took part in the protests on Saturday. In Paris alone there would have been 46,000. Organizers spoke of 500,000 protesters across the country and 200,000 in the capital.
In the late afternoon there were individual clashes during the Paris rally. According to the Paris police, 23 law enforcement officers were injured. According to AFP, there were 62. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin condemned the violence on Twitter. How many protesters were injured was initially unclear. Christophe Deloire, general manager of Reporters Without Borders, wrote on Twitter about a journalist who was hit with a club in the face at the demonstration in Paris. This police brutality is unacceptable.
According to the government, the security law should better protect the police and limit video recordings of police operations. One article provides for the publication of photos of security guards on duty as a criminal offense if done to harm the physical or mental integrity of the police officers. A prison sentence of one year or a fine of 45,000 euros could be the result. Many see freedom of the press at risk.
Two brutal police operations in Paris only became known via videos last week: on Monday of an evacuation of tents by migrants, on Thursday of an attack on a black music producer. After the National Assembly approved the project on Tuesday, the Senate is now dealing with the law.