Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Reporter’s IS captors taunted family, asked for €100m ransom

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

France

Video of forced eviction in Paris suburb prompts shock

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-08-03

French politicians as well as advocates for immigrants and housing rights are reacting strongly to a video shot last week of police forcibly removing women and children of African descent from a makeshift tent housing camp in a poor Paris suburb.

A video showing French police forcibly removing women and children from camps they had set up in a Parisian suburb has provoked reactions of shock at a time when the government is renewing an emphasis on issues of security.

The video was shot on July 21 by an observer from association Droit au Logement (Right to Housing) and then put online by French news site Mediapart and broadcast by US news channel CNN on Tuesday. By Friday afternoon, the video had been viewed nearly 300,000 times on French video-sharing site Dailymotion.

The footage shows women of African descent, some of them carrying children on their backs, trying to hold on to each other as police drag them from camps they had set up in La Courneuve, one of the roughest neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Paris. The women, some of whom are illegal residents of France, had set up tents near a soon-to-be-destroyed building from which they had been evicted.

Though the Right to Housing association has said it plans to file a complaint of “police brutality”, the police headquarters in Seine-Saint-Denis, the department where the incident occurred, denied the allegation. “State services confirm that this operation was carried out in relatively good conditions”, the statement read, despite acknowledging the “physical resistance” met by police.

‘Scary scenes’

The video shows a pregnant woman lying immobile on the ground for several minutes before being carried away by police. Another woman is pulled away by her feet while carrying a child on her back.



But the police headquarters denied intentional violence against the woman, instead pointing to her own responsibility by saying that she “lay down on her back despite the fact that she had a child attached to it, and she was kicking and resisting physically”.

But the images of French police using physical force on women and children of immigrant background have provoked reactions from associations and politicians alike. “These are scary scenes”, said Sokouana Gary, founder of SOW, an association that develops humanitarian projects abroad with young people from La Courneuve.

Meanwhile, Stéphane Troussel, the Socialist Counsellor for La Courneuve, saw the stamp of President Nicolas Sarkozy on the events. “Faced with his failure in the suburbs, it is tempting for Nicolas Sarkozy and his government to abandon working-class neighbourhoods or to try and rein them in through showy and highly publicised security operations”, Troussel said.

As Sarkozy has seen his favorability ratings slide, his administration has been working on intensified security measures, reviving a major theme of his successful presidential bid.

Date created : 2010-07-30

  • FRANCE

    Sarkozy looks to strip citizenship from those who threaten police

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Outrage as Sarkozy says nomadic groups pose 'problems'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)