Woman fined 1000 euros for refusing Paris police fingerprinting

AFP , Wednesday 2 Dec 2015

A Paris court on Tuesday fined a woman 1000 euros for refusing to have her fingerprints taken at a rally where clashes erupted between protesters and security forces ahead of a UN climate summit.

Riot police fired teargas at far-left activists and arrested more than 300 people after a group of protesters pelted officers with bottles and candles taken from a tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks.

The demonstrations disrupted a largely peaceful rally that saw thousands of people form a human chain across the French capital to urge world leaders to seal an ambitious pact to stop global warming.

The 25-year-old woman was fined 1,000 euros ($1,062) for refusing to have her fingerprints taken by police.

The woman's lawyer said legal proceedings against her "verged on the ridiculous," pointing out that out of the hundreds arrested over the demonstration only two people had appeared before the court.

In a second fast-tracked case, a 28-year-old man was sentenced to three months in jail for throwing a glass bottle at a police officer, wounding his lip slightly, during the clashes in central Paris's Place de la Republique.

The young man, who had been drinking, admitted he threw a metal can but said it was aimed at no one in particular.

His lawyer argued he had not come to the square to fight, pointing out that he was dressed in brightly coloured clothes and carrying a rucksack in contrast to the black-clad, hooded protesters.

The man and the woman were also found guilty of ignoring a police order to disperse, but both said they had not heard it.

Prosecutors had called for even harsher sentences for the pair. They suggested a five-month suspended sentence for the woman while the young man had faced eight months immediate imprisonment, four of which would form part of a suspended sentence.

Two others remain in custody while five more have been released.

French police have banned demonstrations on Paris' prestigious Champs Elysees avenue and near the venue for the conference at Le Bourget north of the capital during the two-week climate talks.

The government introduced a state of emergency following a coordinated onslaught by gunmen and suicide bombers which killed 130 people last month, and parliament has given the green light to prolong the extraordinary set of security measures for three months.

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