Huffpost Canada ca

Paris Skinhead Attack: Clement Meric, French Activist, Beaten To Death

Posted: Updated:
CLEMENT MERIC BEATEN BY SKINHEADS
Unidentified students react in front of the Institut d'etudes Politiques, also known as Sciences Po, Thursday, June 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon) | AP

PARIS -- A group of skinheads beat a French far-left activist to death in the heart of Paris' shopping district, officials said Thursday, in an attack that raised fears of increased far-right violence.

Political tensions are high in France after months of protests against legalizing gay marriage that sometimes ended with troublemakers from the extreme right clashing with police.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said a fight broke out Wednesday evening between two groups of young people in a pedestrian street just steps away from the famous Printemps department store. At one point, the 19-year-old leftist activist was beaten by several skinheads, according to Valls, a widely respected, center-leaning member of President Francois Hollande's Socialist government.

The activist, Clement Meric, was initially hospitalized in grave condition, then died Thursday, said Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor's office.

Four suspects, aged 20 to 37 and believed to have links to extreme right movements, were arrested, Thibault-Lecuivre said.

It was unclear how the fight developed and how many people were involved in the attack on a crowded street with cafes and chain stores.

Politicians from left and right lashed out at the violence, including the president. Valls focused his anger at the skinheads.

"There is no place for small neo-Nazi groups whose enemy is the nation," he said. "A group of the extreme right is at the heart of this ... There is a discourse of hate and a climate that favors this discourse. We need to pay attention to this, because they threaten our values."

The leader of the far right, anti-immigration National Front party, Marine Le Pen, tried to distance herself and her party from the violence, saying they shouldn't be lumped together.

Meric was a student at Sciences Po, one of France's most prestigious universities, according to the school.

The Party of the Left said Meric, one of its activists, had earlier been declared brain dead. The party, one of several small political movements on France's vocal and active far left, held demonstrations in Paris on Wednesday against violence by groups on the extreme right.

CORRECTION: A previous headline for this story indicated that Meric was a "gay rights activist." Meric was a leftist activist.

Also on The Huffington Post

Close
Clement Meric Attacked
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Left-wing activist brain dead after Paris skinhead attack ... - France 24

French activist brain dead after a skinhead attack | New Europe

FRANCE: Leftist activist brain dead after Paris skinhead attack ...

Teenage leftist activist brain dead after 'politically motivated' Paris ...

French activist left brain dead after attack by skinheads

Youth left brain-dead after attack by far right militants in central Paris

Gay rights activist, 18, left brain dead after attack in France

France in shock after skinheads leave activist brain dead