Published August 02, 2010
French riot police were captured on video dragging women along the ground with babies on their backs during an eviction in Paris.
The video posted online shows officers armed with batons scuffling with African immigrant squatters from an encampment in the suburbs of Paris. One of the women was visibly pregnant.
The footage, shot by a member of a housing rights organization, showed police dragging a woman across the ground with her infant trailing behind in the dirt.
No one was injured in the July 21 operation in La Courneuve, a suburb northeast of Paris, local officials said -- but human rights campaigners denounced the "brutal evacuation" of some 200 people.
MRAP, a leading human rights group, said the people in the video were expelled from previous housing and provided with no long-term solutions.
The evacuation was handled "according to legal procedures and rules," the government of the Seine-Saint-Denis region around La Corneuve said.