The killing of a Chinese national by police in Paris has sparked outrage among the ethnic Chinese community and protests continued on Tuesday after earlier protests turned violent.
In northeast Paris, protesters gathered Tuesday for a second day over the shooting of a 56-year-old Chinese man and a father of five children in his apartment in Paris on Sunday night.
Hundreds of them chanted “Justice must be done, the killer must be punished!” in front of a police station, to pay homage to the dead and protest against police violence.
The European Times reported that 26 of 35 protesters arrested in clashes with riot police Monday night have been released.
Media reports said the clashes left three policemen injured and a police vehicle torched, while eyewitnesses said a man of Chinese origin was also injured.
On Tuesday in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had summoned a representative of the French Embassy and urged French authorities to “get to the bottom of the incident as soon as possible.”
She also said Chinese authorities “hope that Chinese nationals in France can express their wishes and demands in a reasonable way.”
About 100 people from the local Chinese community staged a protest on Monday evening, demanding justice for the victim and the community.
Protesters set up candles on the ground spelling “opposition to violence” in French and “dying with injustice unredressed” in Chinese. Some of them chanted “Murderers! Murderers!”
“For the first time in France, a Chinese man has been shot dead at home by the police for an unconfirmed conflict. We are all very angry and worried,” Zhang Haiping, vice president of the Representative Council of the Asian Associations of France, told Xinhua.
The Chinese Embassy in France has urged a quick investigation.
On Tuesday, French Interior Minister Matthias Fekl said an internal inquiry has opened into the Sunday shooting, promising full respect for the law “to establish the facts.”
Fekl also called for calm “to allow the current judicial proceedings to pass with the necessary serenity.”
A European Times report said the three police officers involved in the incident are being suspended from their duties for the investigation.
The three policemen and the Chinese victim's family had given conflicting accounts of what happened Sunday night at the victim's home after they arrived in response to a neighbor report about a dispute.
According to the police, the Chinese man was shot dead after he attacked an officer and injured him with scissors “as soon as the door was opened.” However, the 160-cm-tall victim's daughter said the police burst through the door, “the shot was gone and my father found himself on the ground.”
The girl said her father was holding the scissors because he had been preparing fish for cooking at the time.
“The family totally disputes this (police) version of events. He didn't injure anyone,” Calvin Job, lawyer for the Chinese man's family, was quoted as saying by media reports.
“The security of all Chinese nationals in France is a priority of the authorities,” Romain Nadal, a French Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said Tuesday.
In September last year, an estimated 1.5 million people of Chinese origin participated in a biggest ever demonstration in central Paris to demand security improvements for Chinese communities in protest over a fatal robbery a month before.