France to investigate clashes after police clear new migrant camp in Paris

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FILE PHOTO: French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin speaks during questions at the government session at the National Assembly in Paris, France, September 15, 2020. REUTERS / Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) – French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has said he is launching an investigation into the clashes that erupted on Monday evening after police cleared a new migrant camp on Place de la République in Paris, adding that the images of the clashes were “shocking”. .

People posted photos and videos on social media of police beating protesters as they entered to clear the square of migrants’ tents, which police said had been set up without official permission.

“Some of the images of the illegal migrant camp’s dispersal on Republic Square are shocking,” Darmanin wrote on Twitter in the early hours of Tuesday, adding that he was seeking a full report on the incident.

The Place de la République migrant camp came into being barely a week after police cleared a larger illegal migrant campsite near the French national stadium.

France has joined with other European states, such as Italy and Britain, in taking a stronger stance on migrants since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011 triggered a migrant crisis across Europe.

Opinion polls show voters are worried about the issue of migration, which in turn has motivated the support of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who will likely be President Emmanuel Macron’s main opponent during the campaign. the next presidential election in 2022.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Edited by Ana Nicolaci da Costa

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