Hollande calls for calm after violence in France

Paris, Feb 9: French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday called for calm after violence spread in northern suburbs of the city amid allegations that policemen had beaten and raped a young man they detained. As quoted by government spokesperson Stephane Le Foll, Hollande said that “in the face of police violence, there are sanctions,” affirming that “justice is independent to do its job.” The French head of state visited the man on Tuesday at Auly hospital, Xinhua news agency reported. He also called for calm in the capital’s populous suburbs where violent riots in 2005 forced Nicolas Sarkozy, then Interior Minister, to declare a state of emergency. On February 2, violence erupted in Auly-sous-Bois where four police officers were accused of using unnecessary force when arresting a 22-year-old black man and raping him. The incident ignited riots that spared for the fourth night on Tuesday. Dozens of cars were set on fire and 17 youth were arrested, following the standoff with police. The victim, Theo, has himself called for calm and to “not launch war,” adding he trusted the justice system to deal properly with his case. The four police officers have been suspended and placed under formal investigation for suspected rape and excessive violence. (IANS)