Candles are lit during the demonstration in front of City Hall in Paris, France on March 29, 2017. The demonstration of the Chinese community carried on for the third day in front of the City Hall to protest against police killing of a Chinese national in a conflict last Sunday night.(Xinhua/Chen Yichen)
Three policemen were suspended for further investigation due to an incident in which a Chinese man died at the hands of French police at his home on Sunday, which led to a subsequent Asian community protest in Paris.
The local newspaper Nouvelles D'Europe reported 18 police and government officials in Paris met with 21 leaders of the Chinese community in France on Tuesday afternoon to brief them on the latest situation and discuss possible solutions.
In the 19th arrondissement of Paris on Sunday night, 56-year-old father of five, Liu Shaoyao, from Zhejiang Province, was shot in a conflict with three French police officers in his home.
With chants of “murderers” and candles that spelled “opposition to violence” lining the road, hundreds of members of the French-Chinese community took to the streets of Chinatown in Paris to protest outside the district's police headquarters on Monday night.
The protest turned violent, as some protester broke down barricades, threw projectiles and set fire to cars. Protesters and police clashed for several hours, resulting in three police officers injured and 35 protesters arrested.
However, Paris police chief Michel Cadot said later on Tuesday that 26 demonstrators had already been released, while the remaining nine Chinese would be released soon. At the same time, he confirmed the three policemen involved in the shooting had been suspended for investigation and the local Chinese community will be allowed to hold legal memorial activities.
French Interior Minister Matthias Fekl also confirmed on Tuesday an inquiry has been opened, promising full respect of the law to establish the facts. “Investigations will continue and will establish the facts.”
Fekl called for calm “to allow the current judicial proceedings to be completed with the necessary serenity.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry called on the French government to ascertain the truth as quickly as possible and effectively protect safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens residing in France.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said China had summoned a diplomat of the French embassy in Beijing Tuesday and urged “thorough investigation of the incident and take effective measures to ensure the safety and legal rights of Chinese nationals in France.”
The Chinese authorities “hope that Chinese nationals in France can express their wishes and demands in a reasonable way,” Hua added.
Romain Nadal, the French Foreign Ministry's spokesperson, in a statement on Tuesday, said that an investigation was underway. “The security of all Chinese nationals in France is a priority for the French authorities,” he said.
On Sunday night, a police officer shot dead Liu Shaoyao at his home in Paris after a neighbor called the police to report a domestic dispute.