Kurds hold mourning march after Paris shooting that left 3 dead
PARIS (AP) — Members of France’s Kurdish community and others held a silent march Monday to honor three people killed in a shooting at a Kurdish cultural center in Paris that prosecutors say was motivated by the racism.
Turkey summoned the French ambassador on Monday over what it called « black propaganda » by Kurdish militants after the shooting. Some marched in Paris with flags of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or suggested Turkey was linked to the shooting.
A 69-year-old Frenchman was charged Monday with racially motivated murder and weapons violation in Friday’s shooting, the Paris prosecutor’s office said. The suspect told investigators he had wanted to kill migrants or foreigners and then planned to kill himself, and said he had a « pathological » hatred of non-European foreigners, according to prosecutors.
He was briefly placed in psychiatric care, then returned to ordinary police custody. The suspect’s name has not been officially released although he is identified by French media as William K.
The shooting shocked and infuriated the Kurdish community in France, which organized the silent march on Monday. Protesters marched from the site of Friday’s shooting to where three female Kurdish activists were found shot dead in 2013.
“Every day we wonder when someone will shoot us again. Ten years ago we were attacked in the heart of Paris and 10 years later again,” said Dagan Dogan, a 22-year-old Kurd. during Monday’s march « Why has nothing been done to protect us? »
The solemn march ended peacefully. Skirmishes broke out in the neighborhood where the killings took place on Friday, and again on the sidelines of a mostly peaceful Kurdish-led protest on Saturday.
Prosecutors say the suspect had a clear racist motive for the shooting.
Anti-racism activists and left-leaning politicians have linked it to a climate of hate speech online and anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric from far-right figures. The French government has reported an increase in crimes and violations related to race or religion in recent years.
French authorities called Friday’s attack an isolated incident, but some Kurdish activists in Paris believe it was a political act.
Turkey summoned French Ambassador Hervé Magro on Monday to express its unease at what it calls black propaganda being carried out against Turkey by Kurdish militant groups in the wake of the attack, the report reported. Turkish public agency Anadolu.
Turkey « expects France to act with caution in the face of the incident and not to allow the terrorist organization (prohibited from the PKK) to advance its devious agenda », Anadolu reported.
The PKK has waged an armed separatist insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 for independence, which has more recently morphed into demands for greater autonomy. The conflict has killed tens of thousands and displaced many, with significant numbers of ethnic Kurds and suspected PKK supporters migrating to European countries.
The Turkish military has fought PKK-affiliated Kurdish militants in southeastern Turkey as well as northern Iraq, and recently launched a series of strikes against Syrian Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq. Syria.
Turkey, the United States and the European Union consider the PKK a terrorist group, but Turkey accuses some European countries of leniency towards suspected PKK members. This frustration has been the main reason for Turkey’s continued delay in bringing Sweden and Finland into NATO.
Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, and Oleg Cetinic in Paris, contributed to this report.
Nicolas Garriga and Angela Charlton, Associated Press