Keyword: Sivens dam

A year on, probe into death of French dam protester stalls

Rémi Fraisse © DR Rémi Fraisse © DR

In October 2014 student Rémi Fraisse was killed by a grenade thrown by a gendarme during a protest over plans to build a dam at Sivens in south-west France. A year later the judicial investigation into the 21-year-old's death has become bogged down. Investigators have sifted through the victim's background but, as Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan reports, they seem no closer to placing any officers under formal investigation or even examining the instructions that those officers were given from on high.

French farmers square off with protesters at contested dam project

Farmers want project in south-west France to go ahead and say authorities are not doing enough to resolve situation or keep activists from site.

French dam protest death: grenade-throwing gendarme 'not at fault' says inquiry


According to their own watchdog, gendarmes fulfilled their duties with “professionalism and restraint” during the violent events that led to the death of botany student Rémi Fraisse at a protest against the building of a dam in south-west France. The inquiry into the tragedy of the night of October 25th by the Inspection Générale de la Gendarmerie Nationale (IGGN) has also ruled that there was no breach of legal or ethical rules by officers involved, including the gendarme who threw the grenade that killed the 21-year-old. Meanwhile the judicial investigation into the death is still continuing. Louise Fessard reports on the outcome of the report and the questions that remain unanswered.

European Commission calls France to account over contested dam plan

The EU said the Sivens dam project, an opponent of which was killed in a protest last month, was 'a suspected violation' of its water directive.

Revealed: how French state hid truth about dam protest death for two days

Rémi Fraisse © DR Rémi Fraisse © DR

The French state knew almost immediately what caused the death of 21-year-old student Rémi Fraisse at an eco-protest on October 26th, but sought to hide the facts for 48 hours. That is the clear implication of the initial findings of the independent judicial investigation into Fraisse's death at the Sivens dam protest in south-west France, details of which have been seen by Mediapart. These preliminary findings, backed by witness statements from gendarmes at the site, show that the forces of law and order were aware straight away that the botany student had died directly as a result of an 'offensive' grenade thrown by one of them. In an emotional statement the student's family has formally asked President François Hollande to explain why the government took two days to recognise what happened, and why a grenade packed with explosives was thrown at Rémi in the first place.

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

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.

French police clash with demonstrators over protester death

Running battles took place between youths and police in Nantes and Toulouse after protests over death last week of botany student Rémi Fraisse.

French council halts Sivens dam construction after protester’s death

Authority in charge of the project in the south-western Tarn region decided to freeze work on the dam but did not definitively scrap it.