Human Lives Human Rights: Over 120 people were arrested on Wednesday night for “racist violence” in France and including Paris and other cities after France’s World Cup semifinal win over Morocco.
Some 10,000 police officers were mobilized across France over fears of possible riots, including 5,000 for Paris and the surrounding area alone.
Despite the measures, Moroccan fans faced verbal and physical attacks from some far-right groups as raucous celebrations erupted across the country after France won the game 2-0.
At least 115 people were arrested in total in Paris and its surrounding areas, local media reported.
Among them were 40 far-right suspects who were trying to reach the Champs-Elysees, the capital’s busiest spot that was packed with football fans, the reports said.
Violence was also reported in major cities such as Lyon, Nice, and Montpellier.
At least six people, including two members of a right-wing group, were arrested after a fight between rival fans in Lyon, according to reports.
French lawmaker Thomas Portes condemned the “planned attacks” and “racist violence” against Moroccan fans.
“We are close to a tragedy. We must react,” he wrote on Twitter.
Antoine Leaument, another parliamentarian, said “fascists … shouting racist remarks” attacked Moroccan fans in Nice.
“Racism is a crime,” he said in a tweet, calling for the perpetrators to be punished according to French law.