French police on Tuesday confronted accusations of a “scandalous” use of extreme power after they fired tear gasoline to disperse a camp pitched by homeless migrants in Paris.
Inside Minister Gerald Darmanin acknowledged that photos displaying the clearance late on Monday had been “stunning” and requested the town’s police chief to submit a report.
The federal government is already dealing with a storm of criticism over a brand new safety legislation that opponents say will erode the accountability of the police.
Officers used tear gasoline to dismantle the Paris camp, which was set as much as protest towards earlier compelled evacuations of a whole bunch of migrants from different camps.
Volunteers had helped arrange about 500 blue tents at Republic Sq. that had been shortly crammed by migrants, the bulk from Afghanistan.
Police arrived shortly afterwards to take away the tents, typically with folks nonetheless inside, within the face of protests from migrants and jeers from activists.
“They’re too violent,” mentioned Shahbuddin, a 34-year-old Afghan, crying after being evicted. “We simply desire a roof.”
Police later used tear gasoline and tough techniques, with movies posted on social media displaying one officer tripping a person as he ran, and one other officer slamming into a person who tried to intervene.
The controversy comes every week after migrants had been evacuated from makeshift shelters within the northern suburb of Saint-Denis, together with some who had been supplied with various shelter.
“The state has made a lamentable present,” Ian Brossat, a Paris deputy mayor in command of housing, instructed AFP.
CFDT commerce union chief Laurent Berger instructed France 2 TV that the actions of the police had been “scandalous and astounding”.
“Individuals occupy a sq. peacefully with tents, just because they’ve a housing drawback, they don’t seem to be harming anybody. And there may be this intervention which is completely disproportionate,” he mentioned.
Darmanin mentioned he had requested for a report from Paris police chief Didier Lallement by noon and would take selections primarily based on its findings.
“Some photos of the dispersal of the unlawful migrant camp on Republic Sq. are stunning,” he wrote on Twitter.
Paris is a key stop-off level on the European migrant route with hundreds passing by means of, usually heading to England.
Encampments repeatedly sprout up across the metropolis solely to be torn down by the police.
The most recent camp elimination got here as the federal government is pushing a safety legislation by means of parliament that might limit the publication of photographs or movies of cops’ faces — the decrease home is because of vote on it afterward Tuesday.
Media unions say it may give police a inexperienced mild to stop journalists from doing their work and probably documenting abuses.
President Emmanuel Macron swept to energy in 2017 as a centrist who rallied help from throughout the political spectrum. However critics and even some supporters accuse him of tilting to the suitable as he seeks re-election in 2022.
A bunch of public figures who voted for him in 2017 wrote an open letter this week calling for the laws to be withdrawn.
The legislation would “scale back the freedoms of knowledge, opinion, perception, training, affiliation, demonstration and protest,” mentioned the signatories, who included filmmaker Costa-Gavras and ex-footballer Lilian Thuram.
“Mr President, we didn’t vote for this.”