French dam protest death: gendarmes used 400 grenades in one night

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More questions are being raised about the deployment and actions of gendarmes during the eco-protest in which 21-year-old botany student Rémi Fraisse was killed in south-west France in the early hours of October 26th. Mediapart can reveal that during that night officers threw or fired around 400 grenades at opponents of the Sivens dam project. It has also emerged that despite an earlier agreement with protesters that policing of the planned demonstration would be low-key, officers were later ordered by the local state prefect to show “extreme firmness”. Meanwhile both opponents of the dam project and security experts have questioned why officers were told to engage the protesters at all, given there was nothing to defend at the rural site and that all the preliminary clearing work had been completed. And a new witness has come forward casting doubt on some of the official accounts of the gendarmes' action in the lead up to Rémi Fraisse's death. Louise Fessard reports.

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The role of the gendarmes and police at the protest in south-west France that led to the death of 21-year-old botany student Rémi Fraisse in the early hours of October 26th is coming under ever-closer scrutiny. Mediapart can reveal that gendarmes fired or threw around 400 grenades in that one night at the Sivens dam site, including the 'offensive' grenade blamed for killing the student.