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World

30. 11. 2020. 00:00   >>  16:49 0

TENSION IN FRANCE

Protests in most cities over the new security law

Tensions in France over allegations of police brutality, especially against people of African and Arab descent, have escalated into riots in the streets of French cities during protests over a controversial bill onsecurity. Critics accuse the government of President Emanuel Macron of resorting to repressive measures while turning to the right, Radio Free Europe (RFE) reports today.

Hundreds of protesters clashed with police at a protest in Paris on Saturday because of police violence and a bill that would limit the publication of footage of police officers in certain circumstances, Reuters reports, adding that most of the demonstrators marched peacefully.

 

Smaller groups of masked protesters dressed in black smashed shop windowsand set fire to two cars, a motorcycle and a café, while police fired tear gas and shock bombs to disperse the crowd, after which they also used a water cannon.

 

Activists and journalists are worried that the "global security law" will allow uncontrolled police violence, while on the other hand there are more calls for greater surveillance of the police. The anger has intensified after the release of a video showing police in two separate incidents last week using excessive force against a black man and a migrant.

 

Macron, whose party is seeking a law that will protect the police as thegovernment seeks to fulfill a promise to boost security and fight crime, said on Friday that footage of police brutality was "shameful". The French government states that the goal of the new law is not to prevent citizens from recording police interventions and Macron said that he firmly believes in freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

 

The French leader is under pressure on all fronts as he tries to respond to recent terrorist attacks and stop the spread of the corona virus. Critics are pointing out that his attachment to the right ahead of the 2022 presidential elections also causes anxiety.

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