France: March for Mohamed

France: March for Mohamed

In an atmosphere of anger, about 300 people marched in Firminy (France) on Saturday towards the police station where Benmouna Mohamed, a young resident of the Saint-Etienne suburb was found hanged in his cell.  The march went past the building where the 21-year old lived with his parents, who had called to cancel the demonstration for fear of incidents.

The participants, including women and children, marched behind a banner saying: 'in memory of Mohamed. we want the truth'.  But soon several dozen young men in their twenties took over at the head of the procession, shouting 'Allah Akhbar', 'Allah is the only god and Mohamed is his prophet' and 'justice for Mohamed'.  The march took place without incidents.

Myrian, the victim's aunt, was in the crowd.  She doesn't believe the theory of Mohamed Benmouna's suicide and says that he isn't suicidal.  She says they're marching so as not to forget him and because they want to mourn in peace.  Therefore they should stop saying that it was suicide, it is not true.   An uncle adds that they have confidence in justice but they want to see it happen.

At about 4pm, the march ended at the Chambon-Feugerolles police station, where the tragedy which led to three nights of violence occurred.  About twenty relatives were allowed to lay two bouquets of flowers.  The hostile crowd was held at a distance by the riot police.  On Friday the prosecution opened an investigation against unknowns for manslaughter to determine whether there was a lack of supervision during Mohamed Benmouna's detention.

Source: Le Monde (French)

See also: France: Rioting after man dies in police custody

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