The number of people arrested since the beginning of the massive popular protests that have gripped France for weeks has surpassed a staggering 4,500, with critics calling the actions of the authorities crackdown on democracy.
The French police have detained a total of 4,523 people in connection to the so-called Yellow Vests protests that united tens of thousands of people across the country discontent with taxes polices and fuel prices hikes. Of those almost 4,100 still remain in police custody, the French BFM TV broadcaster reported, citing police sources.
Earlier, the French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner confirmed that more than 1,900 people were arrested in connection to the protests in just one day – on Saturday, December 8. More than 1,700 of them were taken into custody. However, the French media later reported that the number of those arrested on that day might in fact have reached 2,000 people.
Part of those arrests seemed to be a preventive