A far-left activist of the French Communist Party (PCF) was arrested after allegedly attacking three conservative activists with a baseball bat in the suburbs of Paris ahead of the second round of regional election voting.
The incident took place on Friday evening at around 11:30 pm in the commune of Ormesson-sur-Marne, south-east of Paris, ahead of the second round of regional elections that occurred on Sunday.
According to a report from the newspaper Le Parisien, the conservatives, supporters of Les Républicains candidate Marie-Christine Ségui, were checking election signs, shortly before midnight.
They claim that they encountered a far-left extremist smoking a cigarette with a walkie talkie who they state warned other far-left extremists where they were.
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“It was then that seven people disembarked in two cars, began to insult, threaten and molest our activists,” the mayor of Ormesson Marie-Christine Ségui told the newspaper and said the far-left extremists tore up a campaign poster.
“They grabbed the cell phone from one of my assistants, pulled out a baseball bat and hit her. Her husband, who tried to defend her, was also molested and intimidated. Another assistant present was also beaten,” Ségui said.
She added that her activists managed to film and photograph part of the assault along with the license plates of the cars used by the attackers. Police were able to use the information to make one arrest in Bonneuil-sur-Marne at 3 am later that night.
“My assistants and activists, whom I went to join in the night at the police station, are traumatized. In a democracy, we fight with ideas, not with baseball bats!” Ségui stated.
Denis Öztorun, the mayor of Bonneuil and member of the Communist Party, called the assault a fabrication and stated that he knew the arrested activist and claimed the activist had just been putting up posters.
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The arrest of the communist activist comes just days after anti-terrorism police in the departments of Creuse and Haute-Vienne arrested six alleged far-left extremists cause of sabotaging communications infrastructure earlier this year.
One of those arrested is said to be a local school principal in her 60s and all six are suspected of “destruction and degradation by dangerous means [undertaken by] an organised gang, criminal association, and destruction of property likely to harm the interests of the nation.”