Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online scammers exploit MH17 crash

Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Israel identifies ‘missing’ soldier in Gaza

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs ' €80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Widodo poised to become Indonesian president

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

  • China steps up communist education to guard against ‘moral decline’

    Read more

  • French rugby stars attacked with machetes and swords

    Read more

  • Hollande announces new military operation in West Africa

    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)