France seeks to ban three far-right groups

France seeks to ban three far-right groups

PARIS (AFP): France’s interior minister said on Tuesday he would ask for three right-wing extremist groups to be dissolved following violent demonstrations over the weekend.

Gerald Darmanin told the France Inter broadcaster that he was targeting a group called Division Martel and two others whose names he did not give.

The French government called for calm after the killing of a teenage boy at a village dance party this month was followed by violent demonstrations by the extreme right.

The death of the 16-year-old, named only as Thomas, has been seized upon by the far-right, who have portrayed the killing as symbolic of increasingly insecure conditions in French society.

Around 100 extreme-right activists travelled to the nearby town of Romans-sur-Isere on Saturday, a police source said.

They were looking for a fight with young people from the La Monnaie neighbourhood, where some suspect the perpetrators of the November 19 killing live, police said.

Another far-right gathering in Romans was dispersed by police on Sunday.

A total of around 30 people have been arrested.

“I will propose that a number of small groups are wound up,” Darmanin said.

“There is a mobilisation within the extreme right that would have us tip into civil war,” Darmanin said.

An estimated 3,300 people in France belong to far-right movements, of whom 1,300 are on a police watchlist, according to a recent parliamentary report.