Saint-Denis- Reunion (PANA) -- A committee against racism set up by Reunion personalities has urged French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin to take measures following police racist behaviour towards two Reunion nationals in Paris recently.
An "Overseas Committee Against Racism" grouping Reunion Bishop Gilbert Aubry, doctors, lawyers, Mayor of Saint Paul (western Reunion) Alain Benard and civil society officials, denounced in a letter to de Villepin the "recent serious incidents related to the racist behaviour" of French policemen.
The group cited the case of a young man from Reunion working as steward for the British Airways, Patrick Mourouvin, who was reportedly beaten up by the police in early May.
"He sustained injuries likely to leave after-effects," the letter indicated.
The committee also reported the case of a 40-year-old Reunion national named Jean-Luc Fatol, living in Meulun (Yvelines), who is fighting for his life.
Fatol was reportedly "battered and sent to a hospital" by policemen on 31 May for simply trying to intervene between his son and the policemen who came to arrest him.
"We are definitely aware of the difficulties inherent in public security but we refuse to see our compatriots become the targets of individuals that do not have their place in the eyes of the police," the committee said.
Speaking in an interview with the Journal de l'Ile newspaper last Tuesday, Mourouvin said: "I am still suffering from the blows and humiliation every day.
" He added: "What is happening around me systematically reminds me of my own story.
Not far from my house, there is a square where I go from time to time for a walk with my girlfriend.
You just have to look at the policemen's attitude towards the youths in the area to convince yourself that what I went through could happen again at any time.