Expatica news

Demonstrator still in coma, police deny responsibility

PARIS, March 21, 2006 (AFP) – A demonstrator who was hospitalised after Saturday’s disturbances in Paris over the French government’s youth jobs plan remained in a coma on Tuesday, as a row broke out over how he received his injuries.

Cyril Ferez, a 39 year-old member of the SUD PTT union, was trampled underfoot in a charge by police against rioters in the Place de la Nation, according to the union.

“The attitude of the police was particularly scandalous. Having resorted to significant violence during the demonstration, the forces of law and order refused to call for first aid as Cyril was lying on the ground in an obviously serious state,” SUD PTT said.

But a paramedic from the CRS riot police said that Ferez had told him his injuries were inflicted by other demonstrators.

In a deposition to an official investigation into the incident, the paramedic said Ferez was “in a semi-conscious state with multiple facial bruising” and that he appeared to have consumed alcohol.

In the ambulance which took them to hospital Ferez “realised we were keen to get to the exact truth and he admitted he had had an argument with other demonstrators who had attacked him”, the unnamed paramedic said.

But SUD PTT said “once again the General Services Inspectorate (investigating authority) and the government are trying to cover up a police blunder”.

Tens of thousands of people attended Saturday’s protest march, which was peaceful until the end, when groups of masked men began throwing projectiles at police and setting fire to vehicles. Police responded with tear gas and baton charges.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news