Police detain 81 people in France following security law protests

Police in France detained 81 people across the country after protests were held in several cities against police brutality and controversial new security law, according to reports.

The arrests were made after around 133,000 people demonstrated in several cities, with 46,000 in Paris alone, according to French news agency AFP, which cited the Interior Ministry.

Organizers later said that as many as 500,000 people nationwide had joined the marches, with as many as 200,000 in Paris, AFP reported.

In Paris, where isolated riots broke out, protesters erected barricades and threw objects at the police, and 23 officers were injured, according to the city’s police force. Countrywide, 76 were injured, AFP reported.

In the Breton city of Rennes, officers used tear gas against the protesters.

Further protests took place in Strasbourg, Marseille and Lyon.

The protests come as France reels from two high-profile incidents of police brutality. On Monday, police officers used force to evacuate a migrant camp, and on Thursday a video emerged of officers beating a black music producer.

Officials on Sunday gave further details of ongoing investigations against police officers.

Paris public prosecutor Remy Heitz told journalists his office had initiated investigations against four police officers.

Three of the officers face charges of racially motivated violence, trespassing and forging documents, the public prosecutor said, adding that the office had applied for pre-trial detention.

A fourth officer is charged with violence and property damage and will be placed under judicial supervision and suspended from his post.

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The video appeared against the backdrop of proposed legislation that would limit people’s right to take video recordings of police officers.

The government says a new security law would better protect the police and restrict video recordings that could hamper police operations.

Many also see the freedom of the press at risk because of the planned law. The measure has been reviewed in the lower house and is before the Senate.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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