Violence erupts at protests against ‘racist’ attack on Kurds
Clashes erupted for a second day in Paris on Saturday between police and Kurdish protesters angry over the murder of three members of their community.
Cars overturned, at least one vehicle burned, shop windows were damaged and a small fire broke out near Place de la République, a traditional spot for Demonstration where Kurds previously held a peaceful protest.
Paris police Police chief Laurent Nunez said the protest had suddenly turned violent, but the cause was still unknown.
Speaking to the BFM TV news channel, Nunez said several dozen protesters were responsible for the violence, adding that there had been 11 arrests and about 30 minor injuries.
As some protesters left the square, they threw bullets at police, who responded with tear gas. Fighting continued for about two hours before the protesters dispersed.
A gunman carried out killings at a Kurdish cultural center and nearby cafe on Friday in a busy part of Paris’ 10th arrondissement, prompting a community to prepare for its 10th anniversary. The murder of three activists remains unsolved.
Police have arrested a 69-year-old man who authorities say was recently released pending trial for a sword attack on a migrant camp in Paris a year ago.
The prosecutor’s office said that after questioning the suspect, investigators added a motive of suspicion of racism to the initial charges of murder and weapon violence.
According to the prosecutor, the suspect’s detention was later lifted for health reasons and he was taken to a police psychiatric unit.
“The doctor who examined the suspect late this afternoon said that the health condition of the person involved was not suitable for the measure of detention,” the Paris prosecutor said.
“Therefore, the measure of detention has been lifted pending his appearance before the investigating magistrate as his medical condition permits,” it said, adding that investigations were still ongoing. continue.
After a gathering on Friday afternoon that also resulted in clashes with police, the Democratic Council of the Kurds in France (CDK-F) held a rally at the Place de la République on Saturday.
Hundreds of Kurdish protesters, along with politicians including the mayor of the 10th arrondissement of Paris, waved flags and listened to tributes to the victims.
Berivan Firat, a spokesman for CDK-F, told BFM TV at the rally: “We are completely defenseless. In 10 years, six Kurdish activists have been killed in central Paris in the middle of nowhere. white day”.
She said the event took a turn for the worse after some protesters were provoked by people making pro-Turkey gestures on a passing vehicle.
Friday’s killing comes before the memorial day for three Kurdish women murdered in Paris in January 2013.
An investigation was dropped after the main suspect died shortly before going to trial, before being reopened in 2019.
Kurdish representatives, who met Saturday with Nunez as well as French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, reiterated their call for Friday’s shooting to be treated as an attack. terrorist attack.
(FRANCE 24 with Reuters and AFP)