There were skirmishes with police on Saturday as Kurdish protestors gathered in central Paris for a demonstration in protest at the killing of three people, and the wounding of several others, on Friday at a Kurd community centre, for which a 69-yeare-old former French train driver has been detained and placed in a psychiatric unit.
For the first time in a dozen years France's antiterrorist authorities are investigating an alleged terrorist plot by an 'ultra Left' group. In December nine people were arrested at various locations around France. Seven of them were subsequently placed under formal investigation on suspicion of plotting “violent action” against the forces of law and order. Five of them have been held in custody since then. Mediapart's Camille Polloni has spoken to the families and friends of some of those arrested about what they have gone through. Inevitably this new case brings with it reminders of the long-running 'Tarnac affair' in which after a decade of investigations and legal proceedings a group of left-wing activists accused of terrorist acts against French railway lines eventually saw all those charges dismissed.
Kurdish-led forces say they have captured close to Raqqa, in Syria, French jihadist Adrien Guihal, also known as Abu Osama al-Faransi, who notably voiced the Islamic State group's claim of responsibility for the July 14th 2016 truck rampage attack in Nice which left 86 people dead and more than 400 others injured.
In the wake of the military defeats of the Islamic State group in the Middle East, a total of about 100 French nationals, including jihadist fighters, women and children, are now detained in Iraq and in Kurd-controlled territory in Syria. Their situation represents a dilemma for the French government, which is tempted to leave them in the hands of their captors and their justice systems, but which is under pressure from lawyers acting for their families who argue that to do so is unlawful and inhumane. Michel Deléan and Matthieu Suc report on the debate, and hear the arguments, which include security concerns, for and against their return.
In January 2013 three female Kurdish activists were gunned down in cold blood at their offices in Paris. The chief – and only - official suspect will stand trial in France early this year for their murder. However, despite an investigation by three examining magistrates the people who ordered the killings have never officially been identified. Instead, political, diplomatic and security concerns appear to have blunted the French judiciary's probe. Nonetheless, writes Jacques Massey, it is clear that the confrontational approach adopted by Turkish president president Recep Tayyip Erdogan towards the Kurds lies behind the shootings.