Paris, France – Eric Dupond-Moretti, the Justice Minister of France, announced on Wednesday that more than 700 individuals have been sentenced to prison in relation to the riots that occurred in the country late last month. Dupond-Moretti praised the “firm” response of magistrates, highlighting the effectiveness of the judicial system in delivering verdicts.
A total of 1,278 verdicts have been issued, with over 95 percent of defendants convicted on various charges ranging from vandalism to assaulting police officers. Out of those convicted, 600 individuals have already been incarcerated.
Dupond-Moretti emphasized the importance of a strong and systematic response to restore national order. In an interview with RTL radio, he stated, “It was extremely important to have a response that was firm and systematic. It was essential that we reestablish national order.”
The riots, which marked the most intense urban violence in France since 2005, erupted on June 27 following the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy of North African descent by a police officer during a traffic stop near Paris. The incident was captured on video by a passerby. The violence lasted for four nights but was ultimately contained due to the deployment of approximately 45,000 security forces, including specialized police units and armored vehicles.
Dupond-Moretti had advocated for courts to impose severe sentences as a deterrent, leading some courts to remain open over the weekend to address the backlog of cases. Immediate appearances were conducted for many suspects, prompting concerns from defense lawyers regarding the fairness of the judicial process and the extensive use of custodial sentences.
The average age of the over 3,700 individuals arrested during the riots was just 17, with minors appearing before separate children’s courts. The number of people sentenced to prison now surpasses the figures from the last major riots in 2005, where around 400 individuals were incarcerated.