Suspenden a policías franceses por golpear a manifestantes

TOULOUSE, France (CNN) — Eight police officers have been suspended pending an investigation into allegations two officers beat a youth during the recent rioting in France while six others looked on.
The French Interior Ministry said Thursday Interior Minister Nicholas Sarkozy had ordered the suspensions.
The incident took place in Seine-Saint-Denis, a Paris suburb next to Clichy-Sous-Bois, the suburb that has seen some of the worst of the rioting in France.
A medical report said the youth suffered bruises on his face and right foot.
The suspensions came as French President Jacques Chirac acknowledged that France must do more to solve the problems that have caused 14 straight nights of rioting.
«It’s then time to act, to re-establish public order, and this is my priority,» said Chirac in remarks after a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero.
«But this should not obviously stop us from understanding that we have a problem, and that this problem can be analyzed in simple terms as fairness of opportunities, respect of the people, of all the people of the republic. We will, of course, at the right moment when public order is re-established, we will need to draw all the consequences of this crisis and do it with a lot of courage and lucidity.»
Meanwhile violence on Thursday appeared to be on the decline as officials toughened their stance against rioters and threatened to deport any foreigners convicted of involvement.
Vehicle torchings continued overnight but the number of arson attacks dropped, with 482 vehicles burned compared with 617 the night before, police said.
The reduction «is an encouraging sign that does not, however, diminish the police effort,» The Associated Press quoted national police spokesman Patrick Hamon as saying.
The number of vehicles destroyed has fallen each night since Sunday’s high of 1,408.
Police held 203 people overnight, and one police officer was injured, Hamon told AP. More than 2,000 people have been detained since the violence broke out.
Vandals set several cars on fire in Toulouse, including one they pushed into a school courtyard, setting the facility on fire.
Another school was torched in the eastern city of Belfort, and vandalism at power stations in Lyon, France’s second-largest city, caused blackouts. The night before, Lyon’s subway system was shut down after a petrol bomb was thrown in a train station, French media reported.
A 12-day state of emergency went into effect Wednesday, giving local officials in Paris, its suburbs and more than 30 other cities and towns across the country the power to impose curfews.
By Wednesday evening, only a few areas had imposed them, including the Riviera resorts of Cannes and Nice, AP reported.
The unrest broke out following the October 27 deaths of two young men of North African descent, who were electrocuted when they hid from police in an electricity sub-station in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.
During a discussion Wednesday in the National Assembly, Sarkozy said he had told local officials that they could deport 120 foreigners who had been arrested and convicted in connection with the rioting.
Sarkozy previously inflamed passions by referring to suburban troublemakers as «scum.»
In Toulouse, one policeman ruefully noted that the streets were bare Wednesday night because the French national soccer team was playing a match against Costa Rica.
He noted that most of the rioters are teenagers — many of them French-born descendants of Muslim North African immigrants — and that their desire to watch football rather than riot was a demonstration of their lack of political sophistication.
De Villepin reacts
On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin announced a sweeping package of reforms aimed at stopping the violence, as well as treating the social ills it stems from.
De Villepin said the rioting was the result of France’s failure to provide hope to thousands of youths, most French citizens and the children of Muslim immigrants from northern Africa. (Full story)
In addition, de Villepin said the government would take a firm hand in stopping the rioting, which has spread to more than 200 French towns and cities.
De Villepin said 9,500 police, including reserves, had been called up to deal with the unrest. Of the 1,500 people arrested, 600 have been placed in temporary detention and 100 have been jailed, he said.
Some of the rioting had been organized through Internet blogs that have now been shut down, de Villepin said. (Full story)
More is being done to strengthen the intelligence-gathering capability of French authorities.
In order for French society to provide the same changes and opportunities to all its citizens, said de Villepin, 30 billion euros ($35.28 billion) will be spent in France’s riot zones, with the focus primarily on helping young people.
The French employment agency will focus on 239 hot zones, he said, to help provide jobs for 1.5 million people.
Although France’s national unemployment rate is about 10 percent, in areas hit by rioting the level is nearer 40 percent.
France has no affirmative action; an official French study found that youths with Arab-sounding names have their job applications rejected up to five times as often as those with traditional French names.
There were fears the unrest could take hold elsewhere in Europe. Cars have been torched in Brussels, and police said they were investigating if they were copycat attacks. (Full story)
The spreading violence has shocked national leaders and community residents into action, with mediators and religious leaders talking to the youths in an effort to stop the violence.
French Muslim groups also issued a fatwa against the violence, Reuters reported. (Full story)
The Union of French Islamic Organizations condemned the disorder and destruction the riots had caused.
Australia, Austria, Britain, Germany and Hungary advised their citizens to exercise care in France, joining the United States and Russia in warning tourists to stay away from violence-hit areas.
CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour, Berlin Bureau Chief Chris Burns and Correspondent Jim Bittermann contributed to this report

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