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Police in France are again facing allegations of brutality after an officer was charged with the rape of a young man during a violent arrest in a suburb of Paris.
Four officers arrived at a housing estate in Aulnay-sous-Bois, north of Paris, on Thursday evening, where they began stopping youths and asking to see identity papers. During the operation, a 22-year-old man with no criminal record, identified only by his first name, Theo, was allegedly forced to the ground and beaten.
A police officer has now been charged with anally raping the young man with a police baton. Theo suffered such serious injuries to the rectum that he needed major emergency surgery, and remains in hospital.
Academics have accused French politicians of failing to deal with the tinderbox conditions in the banlieues or suburban estates, which they say could spark a national wave of riots in the run-up to the presidential elections in April and May. ......Sebastian Roché, director of research at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), and a specialist in the police and the banlieue, told Le Figaro there were many parallels with the 2005 situation.
“The essential line is the same: the supposed malicious intention of the police. The possible elements to spark things off are the same: it’s the same climate, the same basic context, the same areas, with the same populations and, above all, the same antagonism towards the police.”
Roché said nothing had changed since 2005 – “neither the police’s policy, nor the very high level of hostility in the poor suburbs” – and warned that any violence could quickly spread. “It spreads from one poor banlieue to another … The fuel is the anger and hostility towards the police forces.”
The protest was called by a group called Mouvement Inter Luttes Indépendant, which posted photos of the demonstrations on its Facebook page. It demanded “justice for all victims of police violence” and denouncing “racist spot checks” by police on school students.
One police officer has been charged with raping Théo L in Aulnay-sous-Bois on 2 February, and three others have been charged with assault.
Four officers arrived at a housing estate in the northern Paris suburb and began stopping youths and asking to see identity papers.
Théo, 22, was allegedly forced to the ground, beaten, and subsequently raped with a police baton, suffering such serious injuries that he needed emergency surgery.