The event was reportedly dedicated to the memory of Steve Maia Caniço, a festival attendee who was found dead in the Loire river in 2019 when French police tried to disperse a music party in Nantes. His tragic death led to a series of investigations in three possible cases of police brutality.
Mass unrest hit the French city of Redon overnight, as more than 1,000 ravers gathered to organise a huge party that resulted in clashes with police. According to a Sputnik correspondent at the scene, ravers were throwing Molotov cocktails at the police, while officers used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd. However, techno fans were seen on the streets even after dawn, and music could be heard again, as they refused to submit and leave the rave.
La soirée est très tendue à #Redon où une soirée en mémoire à #SteveMaiaCaniço était en cours d’organisation. Les forces de l’ordre utilisent du gaz lacrymogène, des LBD et des grenades assourdissantes. Les manifestants répliquent avec des projectiles et des molotov. #ravepartypic.twitter.com/sGzfh0iAip
The prefect of Ille-et-Vilaine Emmanuel Berthier said that five officers and two protesters were injured overnight. One of the protesters, a 22-year old man was hospitalised after losing his hand amid the clashes.
The festival was purportedly dedicated to Steve Caniço, who disappeared during a police crackdown at a Fête de la Musique party in June 2019, after falling into the Loire river with other attendees. The young man drowned, with his body only discovered a month later. Since the man’s tragic death, “Justice for Steve” has become one of the main slogans in protests held against police brutality in northern France.
Russian firm Gazprom has booked just one third of offered additional gas-transit capacity via the Yamal-Europe pipeline via Poland for November and not booked any volumes via Ukraine, Reuters reports. The tightening of the supplies amid a crunch in world energy markets was “blackmailing Europe in order to obtain Nord-Stream 2 certification”, Yuriy Vitrenko, the head of Ukraine gas firm Naftogaz said, referring to Russia’s new pipeline to Germany.
Italian police have arrested more than 2,500 migrants for smuggling or aiding illegal immigration since 2013, often using anti-mafia laws to bring charges, according to the first comprehensive analysis of official data on the criminalisation of refugees and asylum seekers in Italy.
The report by three migrant rights groups has collected police data and analysed more than 1,000 criminal cases brought by prosecutors against refugees accused of driving vessels carrying asylum seekers across the Mediterranean.
The report by Arci Porco Rosso, the NGO Alarm Phone, and the nonprofit Borderline Sicilia, found evidence of police officers offering immigration papers and other incentives to migrants to persuade them to testify against the suspected boat drivers, who, in some cases were asylum seekers forced at gunpoint by traffickers to navigate refugee boats.
“We have examined over 1,000 court cases, spoken to hundreds of people involved,” the report stated. “We spoke to persons accused of boat driving, lawyers, judges and members of the police and coastguard, to reveal the full extent of Italy’s process of criminalising migration.”
Using police data and evidence presented in hundreds of court cases, the report revealed how refugees were targeted for prosecution.
Before sending a boat to Italy, from Libya, Tunisia, or Turkey, the report said smugglers often choose a migrant as a driver. This can be someone who does not have enough money to pay for the trip or with experience of navigation.
When the boat enters Italian waters, the authorities ask passengers to identify the driver, who is then arrested.
Boat drivers, who often come from war-torn countries, are accused of crimes, from illegally piloting migrant boats to the country, to trafficking in migrants, to criminal association. They can face sentences from 15 years to life in prison.
Although in several court cases judges have recognised the “state of necessity” – that the unlawful conduct is justified to protect the perpetrator or another person from imminent and serious danger – hundreds of cases are currently making their way through Italy’s legal system.
Since 2013, at least 24 people have received sentences of more than 10 years, while six have been given life sentences, according to the report.
“This happens when, unfortunately, during the journey, some of the passengers die,” said Maria Giulia Fava at Arci Porco Rosso. ‘‘In that case, the boat driver is charged with murder. It is in those moments that justice is transformed into a terrible machine that risks destroying the lives of these people forever.”
Italian prosecutors’ use of anti-mafia laws in the cases of migrant boat drivers, which the report said has been framed as a continuation of the country’s prolonged battle against organised crime, has led to hundreds of boat drivers facing draconian charges, such as criminal association.
Evidence in the report appears to show that in some instances police have offered incentives to migrants to identify those driving the boat as being part of smuggling operations.
“In one case a Nigerian witness told us that the police officers promised him that, by providing an accusatory statement [against a boat driver], he would be allowed to go to school and have a bed in a hostel,”, said the report. “Sometimes, the same thing happens with translators, who are asked by the authorities to find the boat drivers among the other passengers.”
International monitors in Russia-occupied east Ukraine have suspended operations to protect staff following protests in Donetsk over Ukraine’s capture of Andrei Kosyak, who Ukraine said was a Russian national on a covert mission. “Because of safety concerns and because of our safety rules and considerations we suspended our operations,” Yaşar Halit Çevik, the chief monitor of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s ‘special monitoring mission’, told Reuters Sunday.