Several hundred protesters gathered in central Paris on Saturday night to demonstrate after images were released by US news channel CNN showing an alleged slave market in Libya.
The French national police were deployed in riot gear to contain the protest, which started in front of the Libyan embassy and moved toward Paris’s main street, the Champ D’Elysees.
Demonstrators criticised the French government, who they accuse of staying silent.
“For France, For Europe, for the United States, there is massacre of millions of people, millions of people and they say nothing. France says nothing,” said one protester Luisa Sambali.
“The goal of being here is to show those who are restrained who are treated like slaves, I won’t say treated but those who are slaves in Libya. This is a really organised trafficking operation that starts in Niger and it is well organized with those going towards Libya and others going to Tamanrasset (in Algeria),” said another protester named Yannick Tshouamou.
Evan Miolard added: “It is a political manipulation that created a state that reduces people to a slave state. It hits home for us, it hits home for black people because it brings us back our state of slavery. It touches our identity because every human has the inalienable right to be free. We are free, we die free.”