Paris suburbs youth react to police acquittal in deaths that sparked riots

Twenty-five-year-old Nawufal lives in Clichy-sous-Bois, an impoverished suburb northeast of Paris where two teenagers were electrocuted when they tried to hide from police in 2005, a tragedy that sparked France’s worst rioting in decades. Read more…

Presumed guilty: “As a youth from a Paris suburb, I was the ideal suspect”

Almost exactly five years ago, the riots in Paris’ suburbs shattered the dreams of Mara Kanté, a then-20-year-old Frenchman who hoped to have a career in football. Accused of attempted homicide against a police officer, he was imprisoned for 29 months, 11 of which he spent in solitary confinement. Ultimately acquitted, the young man shares his story in a new book* and tells FRANCE 24 more about the judicial error that wasted over two years of his life. Read more...

Five years after the riots, housing estate residents share their experiences

In October 2005, the death of two young people in Clichy-sous-Bois sparked violence in French banlieues [housing estates on the outskirts of large cities]. The residents of the most volatile neighbourhoods of French towns explain what has changed - or not - since the riots. Read more...

AK-47s in the suburbs: police “don’t want to die for a crappy wage”

A police van travelling through the north Paris suburb of La Courneuve came under fire from Kalashnikov automatic rifles on Sunday. Why is violence in the French suburbs escalating? Read more...

Singapore, an urban model for the French suburbs?

One of our Observers in Singapore wonders if the urban set-up there — which he says preserves an almost crime-free society — could also work in the French suburbs. Read more...


Gang wars hit French schools

A new twist in gang violence at a school in Parisian suburbs. A secondary school headmaster at Garges-lès-Gonesse was molested by a dozen youths who had burst into his school to beat up a pupil. Our Observers in the school say the violence stems from ordinary rivalry between different council estates. Read more ...


"Police blunder" in Paris suburbs: an officer's perspective

On Tuesday we published video footage of police brutality against a youth in the northern Paris suburb of Montfermeil. A police unit chief, who worked in the suburbs for ten years, tells us how his colleagues were "scared to death", and considers the chief of police's proposition of being filmed on the job. Read his account...


Video footage of police brutality in the Paris suburbs

The Paris suburbs, branded a hotbed of violence since the 2005 riots, are again in the spotlight since footage of a young man being beaten by the police emerged on Monday. Read more and watch the video...

Ultra violent video clip set in the Parisian suburbs

A video clip released by the French electro group Justice has caused controversy in the country for its aesthetic depiction of street violence. Attacking women, beating up old ladies and glassing bar-owners is all part of the glamorous storyline. If they were looking for attention - they got it. Read more and see the video...

Riot photos circulate from phone-to-phone, but not online

By Team Observers

The confrontations in suburban Paris seem to have come to an end. Like in December 2005, photos of the events are being sent from phone to phone by Bluetooth or MMS. But this time, the images are harder to find online. Participants are more cautious with the material after realising it could lead to their identification by the police. Here are some photos and a short video taken on Monday night, that were sent to us by MMS today.

Post your questions to our contacts in the area: surveillant Sarcelles, Pierre, Anissa.