France: Hundreds gather in Lyon to protest
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French doctors were forced to amputate the testicle of a man, after he was hit in the groin with a baton by a police officer. The incident occurred last Thursday in Paris, during what were largely peaceful protests against the government’s pension reform plans. More than one million people took to the streets across France to express their anger at Emmanuel Macron’s plans.
A 26-year-old man from the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, identified only as Ivan.S, was taking photographs of a confrontation between protesters and police, when he was set upon by officers.
The Franco-Spanish engineer alleged he was knocked to the ground before being hit with a baton in his groin.
A video purporting to show the attack has since been posted to social media channels, where it has been viewed many times.
A man holding a camera can be seen falling backwards from the pavement into the road, where several other demonstrators were standing.
An armed officer then proceeds to run after the man and raises his baton, before hitting him hard in his nether regions.
The injured engineer was rushed to hospital where he was treated for his injuries.
Ivan S. told the French newspaper Liberation: “When I arrived, my testicle was the size of a tennis ball.
“They told me they were going to operate on me, and when I woke up they said that the operation had ‘gone very well, we amputated your right testicle.'”
His lawyer confirmed that Ivan S. was suing the police over the attack, saying a legal complaint had been filed for “wilful violence by a person holding public authority resulting in mutilation.”
Lucie Simon said: “It was such a strong blow that he had to have a testicle amputated.
“This is not a case of self-defence or necessity.
“The proof is in the images we have and the fact that he was then not arrested.”
An inquiry has been ordered into the incident by the Paris police chief Laurent Nunez, as public outrage continued to grow over the incident.
Olivier Veran, a government spokesman told the BFM TV that his thoughts were with Ivan S.
He said he had “a lot of empathy” for the engineer, but stressed the need to “understand the context” even if “when we look at the image we are necessarily challenged.”
This is not the first time that French police have been accused of using excessive violence against the public.
In 2020, Michel Zecler, a Black music producer was badly beaten by three police officers, as he left his Paris studio.
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The incident resulted in a series of limited reforms, which have seen a magistrate appointed to head the unit investigating allegations of police abuse within the force.
The demonstrations were called to oppose President’s Macron’s plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.
The Ministry of Interior said 80,000 people took part in the demonstration in the French capital city.
However, the CGT union claimed that some 400,000 people had actually turned up to make their anger felt.
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