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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Fresh clashes in Paris suburb after police rape claim

AFP , Tuesday 7 Feb 2017
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Angry French youths clashed with police and burned cars in a Paris suburb for a third night in a row on Monday, police sources said, amid simmering anger over the alleged rape of a local man during his arrest last week.

A 22-year-old black youth worker named as Theo required major surgery after his arrest on Thursday when he claims a police officer sodomized him with his truncheon.

One officer has been charged with rape and three others with assault over the incident in the tough Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois which has revived past controversies about alleged police brutality.

For the third night in a row, officers were called to control a group of local youths who burned between five and 10 cars and damaged emergency service vehicles and two local restaurants.

A total of 26 people were arrested and some police officers fired shots in the air after finding themselves trapped at one point, one of the police sources said.

The mayor of Aulnay-sous-Bois, Bruno Beschizza, has sought to reassure residents that "we are not at the stage where there will be riots" but he called for the French state to react.

"For the moment it's a public order problem," he said in a statement to the press which urged the interior ministry to demonstrate that the justice system was working for local people "not against them."

Hundreds of people incensed by the treatment of Theo, who comes from a well-respected family in the area, marched Monday through Aulnay-sous-Bois in a peaceful demonstration.

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