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    NewsFrance defends itself against accusations of racism – DW – July 8th,...

    France defends itself against accusations of racism – DW – July 8th, 2023

    France’s Foreign Ministry has rejected allegations of structural racism in the police force by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). “Any allegation of racism or systemic discrimination by the law enforcement agencies is unfounded,” the ministry said in Paris.

    Combating racism and all forms of discrimination is a political priority. “Any ethnic profiling measures by the law enforcement agencies are prohibited in France as they violate the constitutional principle of equality,” the ministry said.

    The fight against the excesses of the so-called face checks has been intensified. The ministry also rejected allegations of excessive use of force by the French police. “Any reported discriminatory behavior will be followed up” and punished if found, the State Department statement said.

    After the death of 17-year-old Nahel during a police check in Nanterre, a UN committee called on France to take action against “racial profiling” by the security authorities. There is talk of “racial profiling” when people are checked by the police because of external characteristics, such as the color of their skin.

    Police operation in Paris: after the incident in Nanterre two weeks ago, there were protests and riots across the country (archive)Image: Firas Abdullah/AA/picture alliance

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed: “The use of force by the national police and gendarmerie is subject to the principles of absolute necessity and proportionality and is strictly monitored and controlled.

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    Again protests in several French cities

    Meanwhile, people took to the streets against police violence in several French cities on Saturday. In Strasbourg, a protest march with several hundred participants started in the morning. The demonstrators carried a banner that read “In grief and in anger”.

    France |  Protests and riots after the death of a 17-year-old
    Devastation in Nancy (archive)Image: Alexandre Marchi/MAXPPP/dpa/picture alliance

    A demonstration planned in Marseille was relocated from the city center by order of the police. There was a tug-of-war over a march planned in the Paris area to commemorate a young black man who died in 2016 after being chased by the police.

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    France I Riots and protests continue
    Riots in Marseille (archive)Image: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP

    His sister wanted to move the protest rally, which was banned in a suburb, to central Paris. On Saturday morning, the authorities banned the march, citing the tense situation after the recent unrest.

    After the death of 17-year-old Nahel almost two weeks ago, the country was shaken by serious riots and protests. There were repeated looting, arson attacks and violent confrontations between police officers and rioters. The officer who fired the fatal shot at the youth is being investigated on suspicion of manslaughter. The unrest has since abated.

    uh/hf (dpa, afp)

    Source: DW

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