French police arrest suspect who attacked migrants with knife
Offender assaulted 2 migrants with knife in capital Paris
Police in France have launched an investigation against a man who was arrested for attacking two migrants with a knife in the capital Paris, local media reported.
Police have charged the offender with intentional homicide for assaulting the migrants at the Bercy camp, according to the BFMTV broadcaster.
Ian Brossat, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of refugee protection and housing, confirmed the attack that took place on Wednesday morning, and described it as a "racist attack.”
He said the offender attacked the migrants who had camped their tents at a public park in Bercy.
The man allegedly tried to tear down the tents and stabbed the migrants sleeping there. He carried out the act while chanting anti-immigrant slogans against them. “This is where the trivialization of racist speech leads,” Brossat said on Twitter.
The victims, identified to be Africans, were hospitalized immediately. One of them is still in a serious condition.
Around 50 migrants have been sheltering in tents in the Bercy camp. For the last 40 days, nearly 150 people including women and children have sought shelter inside a tunnel leading from Pre-Saint-Gervais to Paris.
NGOs have been calling on the government to urgently address the housing crisis which has forced several hundred migrants awaiting asylum to sleep in makeshift accommodation in public parks, on the sides of the road.
On Dec. 6, several NGOs wrote an open letter to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, appealing her to urgently protect migrants from the freezing cold and offer them safe shelter. “Put an end to this unworthy treatment… do not lead them to their death,” the letter published by Liberation newspaper said.