Protesters plundered shops and set fire to various buildings and vandalized public property during the third day of protests for the death of 17-year-old Nahel in France.

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:  Ravina Shamdasani (file)
Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani (file)

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Following a third night of riots and protests across France over the police shooting of a teenager of Algerian and Moroccan descent, the UN rights office (OHCHR) said it was time for the country to reckon with its history of racism in policing.

In a statement released in Geneva on Friday, OHCHR Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani expressed concern over the death of 17-year-old Nahel M on Tuesday, after he was shot dead driving away from a traffic stop in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre.

According to news reports, at least 875 people were arrested in major cities around the country on Thursday night, after around 40,000 police officers were deployed to quell protests and rioting over the killing.

President Emmanuel Macron has urged parents to keep their children off the streets, while in Paris, shots have been ransacked and cars set alight, despite the heavy police presence.

Voluntary homicide charge

The officer who shot the youth has reportedly apologized to the family and has been officially charged with voluntary homicide.

Ms. Shamdasani noted that an investigation has been launched into the alleged voluntary homicide.

“This is a moment for the country to seriously address the deep issues of racism and discrimination in law enforcement”, she said.

Proportional use of force

“We also emphasize the importance of peaceful assembly. We call on the authorities to ensure use of force by police to address violent elements in demonstrations always respects the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality, non-discrimination, precaution and accountability.

She called for any allegations of disproportionate use of force by people exercising their rights to protest, to be swiftly investigated.

According to latest figures released by France’s police regulator, there were 37 deaths during police operations recorded in 2021, of whom ten were shot dead.

MEANWHILE Protesters plundered shops and set fire to various buildings and vandalized public property during the third day of protests for the death of 17-year-old Nahel in France.

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The French government is boosting nationwide police deployment to 45,000 in an attempt to quell unrest. Meanwhile, President Macron has urged parents to keep young rioters off the streets. DW has the latest.

France’s interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, says 45,000 police and gendarme officers will be deployed across the country on Friday evening.

The announcement came as authorities braced for a fourth night of violence.

Some 40,000 police were mobilized the previous evening to deal with unrest in the wake of the killing of 17-year-old Nahel in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.

France curbs public transport across the country over riots
The French Interior Ministry says it has asked all local authorities to shut down public bus and tram services before sunset in a bid to restore order.

The measure would apply nationwide from 9 p.m. (1900 GMT).

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin issued the order after attending a crisis meeting Friday led by French President Emmanuel Macron.

“The next hours will be decisive and I know I can count on your flawless efforts,” Darmanin wrote to police officers and firefighters working to quell the unrest that has defined the past three nights.

The Paris region had already announced plans to curb public transport services to protect transport workers and passengers from the violence.

Darmanin also ordered a ban on the sale and carrying of fireworks. The ministry said it was also banning the sale of canisters of gasoline, acids and other chemicals and flammable liquids.

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