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France. The funeral of 17-year-old Nahel took place in Nanterre

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The funeral of 17-year-old Nahel, who was shot dead by police during a roadside check, took place on Saturday in Nanterre near Paris. The boy’s death sparked violent riots across the country. The teenager was bid farewell by crowds of mourners. The French Council for Muslim Worship has called for calm.

Nahel’s funeral began before noon near Nanterre. The daily Le Monde reported that a “large number” of Nanterre residents and the victim’s friends had come to the funeral home to pay their respects. Nahel’s family requested that the ceremony be private and limited to immediate family only. Le Monde reports that journalists were “kindly but firmly” asked to leave the funeral home. The funeral ceremony continued at the Ibn Badis Mosque in Nanterre.

During the procession towards the Mont-Valérien Cemetery, cries of “Allahu akbar!” and “Justice for Nahel” – reports “Le Monde”. As the daily reports, the hearse with the coffin was escorted by young people on scooters, followed by a crowd of several thousand.

Protests in Paris after the police killed 17-year-old NahelPAP/EPA/MOHAMMED BADRA

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Nahel was a fan of rap music and motorcycles, he grew up alone with his mother in Nanterre. He had a few minor run-ins with the police over reckless driving and breaking traffic rules. However, the daily notes that the teenager has recently joined the Ovale Cioyen association, which helps young people from difficult backgrounds by engaging them in sports activities.

“For me, Nahel was an example of a down-town kid, uneducated, emotionally unstable, but by no means a big thug who really wanted to find his own way,” Jeff Puech, president of the association, told Sud Ouest daily.

A call to keep calm

The French Council for Muslim Worship (CFCM) called for calm, pointing out that “shocking images from the suburbs will only strengthen those who stigmatize their neighborhoods and their inhabitants.”

“While the CFCM sincerely doubts that these very young troublemakers regularly attend mosques in France or followed the advice of Muslim religious leaders, we call on all mosques in France to be with the faithful in these moments and calm social tensions. We especially call on the faithful to unite their efforts with those of all the vital forces of the nation and to do everything possible to stop this unacceptable violence,” the council wrote in a press release on Friday.

A total of 1,311 people were arrested during the fourth night of riots, looting and fighting with the police in French cities on Friday night, the French interior ministry said on Saturday. 875 people were arrested the night before. The Ministry of the Interior in Paris also reported that 79 policemen and gendarmes were injured in the night clashes, about 1,350 vehicles were set on fire, and 234 buildings were damaged or set on fire.

According to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, the riots on the night from Friday to Saturday were smaller than in the previous days. The most serious clashes took place in Marseille, Lyon, Grenoble and on the outskirts of Paris, the AFP agency reported.

Macron postpones trip to Germany

In connection with the events in the country, the president of France Emmanuel Macron decided to postpone the trip scheduled for Sunday evening to German on Tuesday, the Elysée Palace announced.

“Given the internal situation, the President of the Republic has made it clear that he wants to stay in France for the next few days,” the statement said. “Both presidents (France and Germany – ed.) therefore agreed to postpone the visit to Germany to a later date” – added. On Friday Macron left the EU summit in Brussels before its end and returned to Franceto chair a crisis meeting over the riots sparked by the death of a 17-year-old.

Emmanuel Macron in Brussels PAP/EPA/YVES HERMAN/POOL

The leader of the National Union Marine LePen meanwhile, in a speech published on social media, she demanded that President Emmanuel Macron meet with parliamentary groupings “to discuss the serious situation” in the country. “There is no short-term solution other than a return to Republican order through sectoral curfews and, should the situation continue or worsen, by declaring state of emergency” – said the former presidential candidate. The French media and the right wing criticize President Macron for his presence at Elton John’s concert in Paris on Wednesday evening, when the country was already rioting. Macron with his wife Brigitte attended Elton John’s farewell concert at the Accor Arena in Paris La Defense office district The Elysée Palace did not respond to media inquiries on the matter.

PAP, Le Monde, New York Times

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/MOHAMMED BADRA

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