The French Interior Ministry has announced that around 8,400 Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) protestors have been arrested since November, while the European Parliament has finally condemned police violence against the demonstrators.
Over a three-month period, the French authorities have arrested around 8,400 Yellow Vests, of which 7,500 were placed into police custody according to new figures released by French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, Le Figaro reports.
The announcement comes after Castaner revealed that there have, so far, been 1,800 convictions of Yellow Vest activists. Most recently Yellow Vest boxer Christophe Dettinger, who fought riot police with his bare hands, was handed a 30-month prison sentence with 18 months suspended earlier this week.
Wounded Yellow Vests Denounce Police Brutality in Latest Anti-Macron Protests https://t.co/IX4pkSV2km
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 2, 2019
Castaner also dismissed any calls for amnesty for the Yellow Vest protesters, saying, “My message is clear: any degradation, any aggression will be… punished,” and added, “We can understand social malaise but never accept violence and degradation.”
The minister also announced a 1.5 million euro fund aimed at assisting law enforcement personnel who have been injured during the Yellow Vest protests, saying that at least 1,300 riot police, gendarmes, and firefighters had been injured since November.
The number of injured emergency services men and women has been dwarfed by the number of injured Yellow Vests, largely due to the use of “flash-ball” ammunition and explosive stun grenades by riot police, which has caused serious injuries including losses of eyes and hands.
Grenade Blows Yellow Vest's Hand Apart as Anti-Macron Protests Turn Ugly https://t.co/5hC2ezJuFx
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 9, 2019
The heavy-handed police tactics have been criticised by many groups including emergency room doctors in France, and are now being slammed by members of the European Parliament.
438 MEPs voted to condemn police violence and support a statement that called on all European Union member-states to, “ensure that the use of force by law enforcement agencies is always legal, proportionate and necessary” — but did not identify France by name.
French Police Caught on Tape Saying to ‘Shoot’ Yellow Vests https://t.co/jfLElQwfZm
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 4, 2019
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com