French riots have resulted in thousands of convictions, justice minister says


Nearly 2,000 people have been convicted in France over nationwide riots sparked in late June by the fatal police shooting of a teenager during a traffic stop near Paris, the Justice Minister said on Tuesday.

Eric Dupond-Moretti had called for a "rapid, firm and systematic" response from magistrates to the worst urban violence in the country since 2005, with many courts holding fast-track trials for suspects.

Speaking to RTL radio, Dupond-Moretti said that out of 2,107 people tried, 1,989 had been found guilty and 1,789 had received prison sentences.

4,000 people were arrested during the eight nights of rioting following the death of 17-year-old Nahel during a traffic stop west of Paris.

A video of a police officer shooting the teen at point-blank range went viral.

"I called on magistrates to be firm and they responded," Dupond-Moretti added. "It was question of restoring law and order."

The riots were contained only after the deployment of around 45,000 security forces on successive evenings, including elite police special forces and armoured vehicles.

The minister also said that 20 judicial facilities had been vandalised during the four nights of clashes, costing the taxpayer €5 million.

Elsewhere, shopfronts, vehicles, schools and townhalls were attacked, many are waiting to be repaired.

Four Marseille police officers have been charged over that incident.

Read more on RFI English

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