VIOLENT clashes in Paris over the killing of a Chinese man in his home left three police officers injured and led to the arrest of 35 protesters.
The tensions prompted China’s Foreign Ministry to express its concern to French authorities about the death of the man, who it says was shot by a plain-clothes officer.
Demonstrators from the Asian community gathered outside the multicultural 19th district’s police station in north-east Paris, said Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, of the Paris prosecutor’s office.
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The protesters’ anger followed rumours suggesting the man was shot in his home in front of his children while cutting up fish and had not hurt anyone. Police say an officer fired in self-defence during a raid because the victim wounded an officer with a “bladed weapon”.
With chants of “murderers” and candles that spelled “opposition to violence” lining the road, scores of demonstrators broke down barricades, threw projectiles and set fire to cars during brutal clashes with police that lasted several hours.
Authorities said 26 demonstrators were held for participating in a group planning violence, six for throwing objects, and three others for violence against police that saw a police car damaged by arson.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had summoned a representative of the French embassy in Beijing and urged French officials to “get to the bottom of the incident as soon as possible”. Hua said Chinese authorities “hope that Chinese nationals in France can express their wishes and demands in a reasonable way”.
France is home to Europe’s largest population of ethnic Chinese, a community that routinely accuses police of not doing enough to protect them against racism.
Last September, 15,000 people rallied in the capital to urge an end to violence against the Asian community after the beating to death of Chinese tailor Chaolin Zhangh called new attention to ethnic tensions in Paris suburbs.
The latest clashes came days after thousands marched in Paris in a show of anger over last month’s alleged sex attack on a young black man by police in the suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois.