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Hundreds of French protest death of youth in police custody

31 July 2016 9:27

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People have flocked to the streets in the French capital of Paris, demanding justice for Adama Traore, a black youth who died in police custody earlier this month.

On Saturday, the protesters in their hundreds staged a rally organized by Traore’s family members after a second report on the victim’s autopsy was released.

The report suggested that Traore died of asphyxiation, contrasting police accounts, which said that the young black man had been suffering from a severe infection at the time of his arrest and subsequent death and that no sign of violence was seen on him.

People now widely suspect that Traore was a victim of police brutality.

During the Saturday rally, a number of marchers wore T-shirts with the slogan “Justice for Adama, you will never have peace without justice” printed on them.

The crowd also chanted “Je Suis Adama (I am Adama)” in solidarity with him.


Assa Traore, Adama Traore’s sister, cries next to a man holding a placard with a portrait of Adama during a march to protest his death in police custody, in Paris, July 30, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The 24-year-old died in police custody on the outskirts of Paris on July 9.

Traore’s family and friends say he was healthy and was “beaten to death” after being taken into custody on charges of interfering in the arrest of his brother in an extortion case.

Meanwhile, local authorities said Traore had “fainted during the ride” to the police station and paramedics, who were immediately called to the scene, were unable to revive him.

The death has triggered a wave of nightly clashes between angry protesters and police in Traore’s town and its suburbs.

The violence comes as French security forces have already been busy for months with terror attacks and anti-government protest rallies in the country.

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