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A man lost a testicle after he was brutally clubbed by riot police during a protest.
Doctors amputated the 26-year-old's gonad after he was attacked during a large protest in Paris while he was filming a confrontation between cops and demonstrators, French newspaper Liberation reported on Sunday (January 22).
The man, identified in the press as an engineer known as Ivan S, is now planning to take legal action after he was knocked to the ground, allegedly by a police officer, while another officer charged at him and whacked the man in the groin with his club.
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Ivan told Liberation he was suing in a bid to make sure "that this stops because I’m not the first person to be subjected to violence by police. Only this time, the scene was filmed."
Meanwhile Lucie Simon, a lawyer representing the injured man, said a lawsuit for "voluntary violence by a person in authority leading to mutilation" was already in progress.
The incident occurred after nearly 1 million protesters across France marched to show their disdain at a controversial new government pension reform plan, with tens of thousands of people demonstrating – mostly peacefully – in the capital alone.
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Footage and pictures of the incident caused outrage as they spread on social media and on news programmes over the weekend.
Many have blasted the police online over the alleged brutality used against a civilian – an accusation that French law enforcement officials have been subjected to on multiple occasions.
Paris Police Chief Laurent Nunez has since ordered an inquiry into the incident as outrage grew over what appeared to be a new case of alleged gratuitous violence by French police, a longstanding complaint.
French government spokesman Olivier Veran said in an interview Sunday with the French news network BFM TV that he was neither part of the police or judicial establishments, but "my thoughts are obviously with this person."
Ivan isn't the first person to claim to have been a victim of police brutality in France – complaints against the force are a common occurrence.
In 2020 a black music producer, Michel Zecler, was beaten and clubbed by three white police officers as he was leaving his studio in Paris.
The incident led to reforms in the French police system, including the appointment of a magistrate to lead a unit investigating allegations of police abuse last year – a job that had previously been left to police officers themselves.
Ordering the changes in 2021, President Emmanuel Macron said: "We have nothing to fear from greater transparency."
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