- French high-school pupils forced to kneel by police cause uproar anger In France

French high-school pupils forced to kneel by police cause uproar anger In France


Images and videos of scores of French high-school pupils kneeling in front of police with their hands either bound or behind their heads has caused shock and anger in France and promises to raise tensions even higher ahead of Saturday's latest "yellow vest" protest.

The images were taken on Thursday afternoon at Mantes-la-Jolie, a small town to the north-west of Paris after a protest by high-school students.
They show youngsters kneeling in rows or facing a wall as police in riot gear look on. Some have their hands tied behind their backs while others are forced to keep their hands on their heads.

In one of the videos a voice, believed to be a police officer, can be heard saying: "Now there's a class that's behaving well".
Police sources told Le Parisien some of the youngsters arrested on Thursday were carrying bars, baseball bats and canisters of pepper spray.
The local prosecutor Vincent Lesclous told Le Monde newspaper: "The images of these collective arrests are striking, that's for sure but in the face of the violence of these last days, we had to opt for a solution to preserve order."
Nevertheless the images shocked France's political class.
"Shocking, unacceptable. This is not the Republic. French youth humiliated. But what does power seek if not anger in return? ", wrote former Socialist presidential candidate Benoît Hamon.
Former Green Minister Cecile Duflot said: "We need to say calmly but firmly: what happened with the students of Mantes-la-Jolie - these scenes of which there are many photos and videos - is simply intolerable."
On Friday, dozens of students and teachers showed their support for those arrested, reproducing their kneeling pose in Paris and in several other cities.
A large group gathered in Place de la République in Paris despite rainy weather, in solidarity with the students.

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