Protests after Paris Police beat and rape suspect

Other | Thursday 9th February 2017 |

Protests have erupted in northern Paris after police officers beat and allegedly raped a black man with a baton.

Protests, some of them violent, have spread in Paris' northern suburbs after police officers were accused of beating and raping a man they were detaining. Four officers have been suspended after the revelations, with one being placed under formal investigation, pending an investigation.

Protesters held 'Everyone Hates Police' gatherings and marches, whilst more violent groups set fire to cars and rubbish bins, with police claiming petrol bombs were also used. Police said they had made 17 arrests by Wednesday morning.

Whilst nowhere near the violence experienced by some suburbs in 2005, this incident highlights the tensions between the police and inhabitants in these neighbourhoods. In Aulnay-sous-Bois, the area in which the alleged brutality took place, unemployment is nearly twice the national average of 10%.

With elections only just around the corner, the French government will be keen to keep events of this nature in check, however, instances like this display the disparity between some sections of Parisian society and will be seen as evidence of the maltreatment of ethnic minorities. The rise of Marine Le Pen's National Front has already revealed the rising racial tensions within France.

On Tuesday afternoon French President Francois Hollande visited the victim, a 22 year old black man who has himself called for calm, in hospital.