12 arrested in Paris over protests

12 arrested in Paris over protests

Paris, Feb 14 (IANS) Twelve people were arrested in Paris after protests over the alleged rape of a young man by a French police officer, according to authorities on Tuesday.

More than 100 people have been arrested since the start of the protests, while 200 vehicles have been damaged and more than 160 containers set on fire in different parts of the capital, Efe news reported.

Unrest in some of the French capital’s suburbs has been ongoing since the February 2 arrest of Aulnay-sous-Bois resident, Theo, a 22-year-old black man who was hospitalized for an anal tear after police officers allegedly sexually assaulted him with a nightstick.

The protest has been gaining ground and overnight there were also disturbances in places far from the epicentre of the protests, such as Dijon.

After two nights of relative calm, violence returned over the weekend after the preliminary police report on Theo’s alleged assault.

Although initial investigative lines suggested that the charged officer did not intentionally cause injuries during the violent arrest, Theo’s case has caught the attention of the French public and officials alike.

Those who protested fear that the police sought to cover up the reality of what happened to the young man.

French President Francois Hollande visited Theo in the hospital and was set to open a youth integration centre in the north of Paris on Tuesday.