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France

Victim of alleged police rape leaves Paris hospital, thanks supporters

© French presidency | This photograph, taken on February 7, shows French President François Hollande visiting "Théo," who says he was raped by police officers in a Paris suburb.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-02-17

A young black man who claims he was raped by police with a baton in a Paris suburb has left hospital and thanked supporters in France and abroad for rallying around him.

The 22-year-old man, identified publicly only by his first name, Théo, said in a Facebook video on Thursday that the notes and visits from supporters "helped me hang on ... made it possible for me to be here among you today."

He said he was still not healed after the alleged rape on February 2, which occurred during an identity check in his hometown of Aulnay-sous-Bois, north of Paris.

Paris suburbs rage over 'police rape'

Théo suffered such severe injuries to his rectum that he needed major emergency surgery and was prescribed 60 days of total incapacity to work.

One officer has been charged with rape and three others with “aggravated violence”. They deny intentional wrongdoing.

Theo's ordeal prompted widespread anger and several nights of violence in some of the French capital’s most deprived suburbs, where police are routinely accused of using excessive force against young people, particularly those from ethnic minorities.

The unrest has stoked fears of a repeat of the huge riots that followed the deaths in 2005 of two teenagers who were electrocuted in a power station while hiding from police in another Paris suburb.

President François Hollande, who visited Théo in hospital, has appealed for calm and for “justice to be served”.

Hollande said France was determined to "show that we are capable of living together in a peaceful society.”

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

Date created : 2017-02-17

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