Riots have broken out in Paris amid anger over what has been described by local media as “manhandling” of a French journalist of Algerian descent by police, after French President Emmanuel Macron extended social distancing measures to contain spread of COVID-19 until 11 May.
Riots have erupted in the Parisian suburb of Villeneuve-la-Garenne, with police rushing into the area as fireworks were fired on roads and from buildings in the early hours of Monday.
The skirmish broke out following allegations of heavy-handedness against “ethnic minorities” by police forces amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown after a 30-year-old motorcyclist was reportedly injured following a collision with an unmarked police car in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, while a French journalist of Algerian origin was purportedly manhandled by officers.
The two-days long tensions in the Paris suburbs have been captured on camera, with videos being widely circulated on social media:
On Sunday, the head of France’s public health agency, Jerome Salomon, reported that the country’s COVID-19 death toll had increased by 395 over the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 19,718. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in France stands at over 112,600. More than 30,000 people are still undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the extension of stringent social distancing measures that have resulted in the closure of restaurants, parks, museums, and shops until 11 May.