Russian child in coma after fall in police chase

10th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

AMIENS, France, Aug 9, 2007 (AFP) - A 12-year-old Russian boy was in a coma Thursday after falling from a fourth floor apartment in northern France while following his father who was fleeing police.

AMIENS, France, Aug 9, 2007 (AFP) - A 12-year-old Russian boy was in a coma Thursday after falling from a fourth floor apartment in northern France while following his father who was fleeing police.

The boy was in a coma with serious head wounds, prosecutor Patrick Beau said. His father, 33, suffered light injuries.

The family was in the country illegally after having their asylum requests rejected, according to Dominique Mullet of the Education Without Borders Network, which assists illegal immigrants. They had arrived in France in 2003.

Police and an interpreter showed up at their home in Amiens on Thursday morning to issue a summons for them to appear at a hearing, prosecutors said.

The father sought to flee by climbing down his neighbours' balconies, said Beau, adding that police had not entered the apartment at that point.

"His son, who followed him, then fell and landed in the garden of the building's interior courtyard," he said.

France's immigration minister, Brice Hortefeux, called for an investigation.

Mullet said the mother had showed up with her son following an earlier summons. Authorities asked them to return with the father, but they did not show up, he said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has faced criticism over his tough stance on immigration, expressed his "sadness" over the incident in a statement. He added that he was being regularly updated on the child's health.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon said all facts would be brought to light and that immigration policies required "firmness and a strong commitment from all officers of the state."

The League of Human Rights denounced the government's immigration policy, saying it "continues to provoke human dramas".

AFP

Subject: French news

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