Keyword: Ben Lefetey

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

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Caisses de grenades pour la plupart lacrymogènes récupérées par les Zadistes de Notre-Dame-des Landes. © DR Caisses de grenades pour la plupart lacrymogènes récupérées par les Zadistes de Notre-Dame-des Landes. © DR

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.