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Mr Macron’s Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin has promised to open an investigation after the brutal crackdown on the camp sparked an angry backlash. Mr. Darmanin admitted that pictures of the scene were « shocking » and ordered a full police report on the operation to evacuate the Place de la Republique camp.
Photos and videos posted on social media showed police beating protesters and knocking migrants to the ground while demolishing their tents.
The officers then used tear gas and stun grenades to evict the crowd of migrants and their supporters from the square.
Mr Darnmanin said: « Some of the images of the dispersal of the illegal migrant camp on Place de la Republique are shocking. «
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo expressed outrage at what she called « police violence » and said the liquidation of the camp was a « denial of France’s humanitarian duty ». .
The illegal camp was created a week after police detained a major illegal migrant campsite near the French national sports stadium in the St. Denis had vacated.
About 450 refugees pitched 56 tents in the square at the request of the charity Utopia to protest the forcible eviction of migrants from other makeshift camps in the French capital.
In a joint statement by the Paris police chiefs and the regional officials of Ile-de-France, it is said: « Such camps organized by certain associations are not acceptable.
« The prefecture of the police immediately started to disperse this illegal occupation of the public space.
« All people who need accommodation are invited to come to the day care centers, where they offer solutions for the accommodation of migrants adapted to their situation. «
But Ian Brossat, a Paris deputy mayor in charge of housing, condemned the police operation and called on the state to find shelter for the homeless.
He said, “The police cannot solve this problem. To think that we use batons to solve social problems is crazy.
“As long as there are no apartments available, people will live outside, and as long as people live outside there will be camps.
« To think we can solve the police harassment we saw tonight is pathetic. ”
Delphine Rouilleault, Head of the Asylum Seekers Support Group, France Terre d’Asile, said: « We do not react to misery with violence.
Corinne Torre, head of the MSF aid group, said: « The only response from the authorities is the use of force. « And violence is not acceptable in times of health crisis. «
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France, along with other European states like Italy and Great Britain, has taken a tougher stance on migrants since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011 sparked the migrant crisis across Europe.
Opinion polls show voters are concerned about migration, which in turn has fueled support for far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who is likely to be President Macron’s main antagonist in the next presidential election in 2022.
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